This has truly been a monumental year for women’s sports.
The USA Women’s World Cup soccer team began to win the hearts of sports enthusiasts during their quarterfinals overtime win against Brazil. Male and female professional athletes and well known sports figures called that game the "most exciting sporting event they have ever seen."
Two games later, the victory against France and a nailbiting defeat against Japan in the World Cup Final, Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan was a worldwide inspiration and was dubbed the future of the Women’s National Team.
Why has it taken so long for women’s sports to take center stage?
A large reason is it has taken the respect and validation of male professional athletes and fans — historically, the core demographic for sports.
Morgan, the youngest and newest player to the team, instantly became an inspiration for young women everywhere.
The Women’s World Cup Final game with USA and Japan produced the most watched soccer match on ESPN, a sure indicator that women’s sports continue to gather fans and respect.
In addition to women's soccer making history, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) celebrated its 15th yearanniversary on June 21. A celebratory game was played between the New York Liberty and Los Angeles Sparks, two storied franchises in the league.
The Staples Center buzzed with excitement as seats were packed with young women wearing jerseys of star players Candace Parker and Lisa Leslie.
Because of the longevity of the WNBA, an entire generation of young women knows of a professional basketball league for them, a professional league to strive for.
Two days later, June 23, marked the 39th birthday of Title IX, a special congress bill that created high school, collegiate, and professional sports for women.
To think that 40 years ago, women did not have the resources or opportunities available today to play high school, collegiate, and professional sports seems unreal.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) also took a commendable leap of faith by funding the WNBA in 1996. Recently, NBA players have shown public support of their sister teams by attending WNBA games, doing public service announcements and commercials with WNBA counterparts, bringing their fan base to the WNBA market.
This has definitely created more awareness to the WNBA and has brought high-profile endorsements to the league such as the partnership between the Los Angeles Sparks and Farmers Insurance, the same company that has the stadium naming rights of the proposed Los Angeles NFL football stadium.
With such collaborations, there is no telling the leaps and bounds women’s sports will go.
The success of the Women’s National Soccer team, the Women’s National Basketball Association and other growing women’s sports is just the beginning.