Why I stopped watching football–and why other women should too

Lindsay Giovannone, Sports Editor


For decades, women have fought for equality and broken barriers. As grateful as I am for my opportunities, I firmly agree with the stance that women have no place in some areas—one of which being sports, especially American football.

The National Football League (NFL) currently has a fanbase that is roughly 45% female; it is time for this to change. The NFL should take initiative to ensure that their fanbase is nearly 100% male. Men know much better than us women how to properly watch a complex sport such as football.

NFL free agent Cam Newton and Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth are excellent examples of men whose opinions on women should be taken into consideration. In 2017, Newton said that it was “funny to hear a female talk about routes” during a post-game interview with a female reporter. Last year, Collinsworth said that he’s simply “blown away” by the passion of fans, “especially the ladies [he] met.”

ESPN commentator Paul Finebaum, a man who has a much more in-depth understanding of sexism than we women do, validated this comment by saying that Newton was “trying to be funny,” and it just “came off” as demeaning.

Finebaum was correct. The female mind cannot process such elite humor and therefore missed the joke.

Another excellent source for women to listen to is Illinois radio host Dan McNeil. He made a great point when tweeting that Monday Night Football sideline reporter Maria Tayler’s appearance is comparable to a host of an adult-films award show.

NFL security has taken similar actions to ensure that women remain in their rightful place as desirable objects. And rightly so–they barred agent Nicole Lynn from a hotel because she appeared to be a players’ significant other trying to sneak in. Lynn represents Quinnen Williams, the third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. The NFL security guards should be commended for their efforts. Women existing in male-dominated spaces is an abhorrent issue that should be spoken about more.

2021 should be a time for reflection. I used to be an avid NFL fan but have since realized that my enjoyment of a sports game is considered wrong and offensive to men. We should take steps to avoid being distracted by football programs, starting with removing the television from the kitchen.