Why do men like sports?

Graphic by Carleen Loney/ @shloneys

People always like to ask women why they like sports, but why don’t we ask men the same question?

“Why do you like sports?”

“You only watch because the players are attractive.”

“Go watch women’s sports!”

“Name three players on the team or you’re not a real fan.”

Any woman who likes sports has most likely heard at least one of these sentences at one point or another.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that women, and non-binary people, enjoy sports for the same reasons as men?

There is no underlying reason: not the players’ looks (that are barely noticeable in football and hockey games anyway, might I add), not the fact that there have been fewer fights lately (in hockey), or any other ridiculous reason.

Sports are fun. It’s really that simple, folks.

We never ask men why they watch sports, so why ask women? Why do people feel the urge to gatekeep sports from women?

If there’s one positive thing social media has brought, it’s diverse ways of engaging with sports fans online. Whether you like sharing photos, making art, videos, or memes about sports, there is a place for everyone on social media.

A lot of women, especially younger women, feel more welcome sharing their passion for sports via Twitter or TikTok interactions than reading or watching mainstream coverage.

If you’re looking to understand why more women have watched hockey recently, take a look at the hockey community on Twitter or TikTok and you’ll see how fun sports discussions and content can be.

Also, women don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why they like sports. So just stop asking.

Let me also point out that women’s sports are just as fun as men’s sports, and that telling someone to “go watch women’s sports” isn’t the insult you think it is.

I mean, have you seen Marie-Philip Poulin and Christine Sinclair? Both women have set records in both the women’s and men’s sports categories. They’re the G.O.A.T.s, as they call it, of international hockey and soccer, respectively. So give women athletes the respect they deserve.

“Women’s sports” are also just “sports.” If we don’t specify that we’re watching men’s sports, we also don’t need to specify that we’re watching women’s.

At the end of the day, sports are supposed to bring people together, not divide them. So how about next time you see a woman enjoying sports, you leave her be?

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