Other universities sports fans may see Baylor University as only a basketball or a football school, but there is so much more success to the Bears athleticism than is celebrated, even on our campus.
A lot of other universities’ define their sports programs by the success of one main team. This could be because it’s the only field the university actually excels at, but Baylor students and alumni know that there is so much more to the Bears than football and basketball.
In order to destroy others preconceived notions and stereotypes about Baylor’s pride for their teams, we must support the sports teams at Baylor that fall to the wayside.
Women’s sports and non-mainstream sports — some of which include Baylor’s acrobatics & tumbling, equestrian, golf and track & field teams — not only lack the support they deserve by their peers and fellow bears, but they also lack the support they deserve from their University, especially through their online coverage and social media.
Women’s sports deserve just as much as publicity as men’s sports, even if that’s not what they are receiving today at Baylor as well as other universities and in the professional sports world.
Baylor Volleyball won its first Big 12 volleyball title in the school’s history on Nov. 30, 2019.
However, the No. 1 team’s university failed to brag about their history changing win.
The only two posts made on Bayor’s official Instagram @bayloruniversity that day cheered on the Baylor Bears football team in Kansas and congratulated on their 61-6 win against a school no one expected to be a major competition.
The win for the No. 1 Baylor Volleyball team closed out last season with a perfect score 13-0, becoming only the 5th team in history to win a Big 12 volleyball title.
The teams’ own Instagram @BaylorVBall posted some exciting pictures celebrating their championship and @baylorathletics posted two similar posts honoring the volleyball win alongside two posts about the football win in Kansas; but Baylor still failed to acknowledge the excitement on their main account.
Although Baylor’s main account, which reaches an audience of 125,000 followers, posted about the volleyball team’s successes throughout the season, they failed to give the team coverage when it really mattered and gave a football win more weight than it — even though the volleyball team made it further in their championship this most recent season than the football team.
Unfortunately, this was not the only instance where men’s sports have outshined women’s sports even when they deserved to shine online and in their university’s spotlight.
Outside the time of major sporting festivals, such as the Olympics, women’s sports receive only about 4% of all sports coverage while statistics say that 40% of all sports participants are women, according to research conducted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Women are also more likely to be demeaned and sexualized in this small percentage of coverage of women’s sports than men. Even though this may not tie directly with Baylor, it does conclude that the general populations interest in men’s sports outranks their interest in women’s sports.
On May 27, 2019 of last season, Baylor’s acrobatics and tumbling team won its fifth consecutive national championship.
When the No. 1 team defended their title at the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling National Championship against No. 2 Oregon, @bayloruniversity posted a compilation of photos on their Instagram.
“This is a sport?” @kinghendy commented on the celebratory post.
This is a common misconception throughout the Baylor campus. While many students do not know about the success of our acrobatics and tumbling team, many others do not even know about their existence.
To prevent all our Baylor bear pride from being taken from deserving teams, Baylor Bears should support all the sports that we compete in.