Sidelined : gender inequality in athletics

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The essence of American women’s struggle to play sports at a competitive level is that for decades the power structure of American professional and scholastic athletics simply didn’t think they should be allowed to play. The various institutions governing athletics of all levels sought first to prevent women from participating in sports at all and later to keep women athletes segregated and barred from playing on men’s teams or competing against them. They have justified this discrimination by citing various outmoded ideas of women’s mental and physical abilities, their perceived frailty, and the erroneous belief that keeping women athletes segregated from men provides a more suitable and more enjoyable athletic experience for both sexes. This report and the accompanying video, Outlaws Rising, examine the legacy of gender inequality in sports and its impact on the Austin Outlaws, a women’s tackle football team.