The Orion

Men or women, we are all Wildcats

Sports writer Gabriella Bermudez

Sports writer Gabriella Bermudez

Gabriella Bermudez

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When watching the Chico State men’s basketball team face off against Cal State East Bay on Feb. 5, I was overwhelmed by how loud and encouraging the crowd was. The stands were filled with exuberant Wildcats decked out in red and black and I even noticed a student waving a Chico State flag as encouragement for his team. I felt such pride for my school and it was incredibly moving to see just how many students wanted to support their school.

The next evening however, I was baffled at the turnout for the women’s basketball game against Cal State Monterey Bay. That pulse of energy that was so apparent during the men’s game just wasn’t there. It turns out that 375 people attended that women’s basketball game, but just a few hours later, 1,475 people arrived to watch the men’s game, according to ChicoWildcats.com.

Why is it that when the men’s basketball team hits the court, the crowd roars with applause, but just a few hours before, the stands were all but empty when the women’s team entered the exact same gym to play the exact same sport?

The women aren’t any less talented nor are they less deserving of school spirit. So why is it that the women’s basketball team averages 446 people in attendance for home conference games and the men’s team more than doubles that with 1,193?

Could it be a reflection of our personal interest in professional sports? After all, in professional basketball women’s teams don’t get nearly the same funding nor do they have the same kind of fan base. I have yet to see a WNBA 2k16 basketball game for sale nor do I know anyone who has attended a professional women’s basketball game.

So why is it that women’s teams are forced to reside at the bottom of the barrel? Is it because of the violent and aggressive nature of sports that it isn’t desirable for women to be viewed this way?

At this point in time, this should be a moot point. It is 2016, not 1950, and if a women wants to display her athletic talent she should get every opportunity and just as much support as a man in the same field.

As a school and a community, we owe it to every student athlete to show them our support and Wildcat spirit.

With the Cal Poly Pomona game fast approaching on Feb 19., now would be the prime time to show every ounce of respect for what these students do on top of the same rigorous schoolwork we are all subject too.

So this Friday, keep in mind that ESPN3 is not just there for the men’s team but our women’s team as well.

Let’s band together and hold up and appreciate every single Wildcat who dons a cardinal and white jersey.

I’ll be there at 5:30 for the women’s tip off, will you?

Gabriella Bermudez can be reached at [email protected] or @gabbybermudez2 on Twitter.

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Men or women, we are all Wildcats