Women's Sports: Why are sportswomen still facing double standards at work?


The moment Alex Morgan pretended to sip a cup of tea to celebrate a decisive goal in a game that would send the USA to the Women's World Cup final - she was faced with criticism.

En route to becoming world champions, Morgan found herself having to explain why she chose to celebrate in that way - at that moment. 

Morgan explained that the celebration was in line with the popular phrase, "and that's the tea," refuting the accusation that it was a direct insult to their opponent, England. Though, the reaction following the celebration speaks volumes on the perception of men and women in sports.

Such scrutiny suggests that women must avoid making powerful and bold celebratory gestures, despite images like Megan Rapinoe's outstretched arms being one of the most influential moments of the tournament. Morgan quickly called it out for what it is by highlighting the double standard that continues to infiltrate the women's game.

"I feel that there is some sort of double standard for females in sports, to feel like we have to be humble in our successes and have to celebrate, but not too much or in a limited fashion," said Morgan.

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Yet, just last year, we witnessed an unfair double standards incident overshadow a historic win for Naomi Osaka at the U.S. Open women's singles final.

After losing the final, Serena Williams made headlines for vocalising how men and women are perceived differently for showing emotion in sport.

Williams drew attention to the reality that women are penalised for acting, "dramatic" and "hysterical" whilst men are viewed as "passionate" when disputing the decision of an umpire.

Though, a year later, women are still being told to hold back and be humble in their sport, despite their male counterparts being held to different standards.

People are quick to take offence to the actions of a female athlete, not allowing them to be their authentic selves in the elite sporting space without public outcry.

The ugly stain that comes with double standards, discredits the athlete, their performance and possibly the little girl that once looked to them as a role model.

Although Morgan's earlier statement contributes to growing conservation that continues to get louder as women's sport progresses, the only way to rid this double standard is if more voices continue to speak out.

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