Sports·Bring It In

Moments of celebration in women's sports don't discount issues that still stand

On the latest episode of Bring It In, Morgan Campbell is joined by Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss how the happier moments in women's sports and the subsequent attention have not altered the landscape with issues that women still face.

Kristie Elliott kick, lack of Canada Soccer merch show unattained progress, says Bring It In panel

Simon Fraser University football kicker Kristie Elliot, pictured above, became the first Canadian woman to play and score in a college game on Saturday, against Linfield University in Oregon. (@sfu_athletics/Twitter)

Historic moments in women's sports have been celebrated at every turn, and it was no different for Simon Fraser University football kicker Kristie Elliott.

Elliott became the first Canadian woman to play and score in a college game on Saturday when she converted an extra-point attempt against Linfield University in Oregon.

For as much as it's worth celebrating, moments like these cannot be used to ignore the longstanding issues that still exist for women in sports.

On the latest episode of Bring It In, Morgan Campbell is joined by Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin to discuss how the happier moments in women's sports and the subsequent attention have not altered the landscape with issues that women still face.

WATCH | Elliott's moment a reminder of progress still needed:

Kristie Elliott makes history, women’s sport still stuck in tired narratives

4 months ago
Duration 11:20
The ‘Bring It In’ panel discuss kicker Kristie Elliott becoming the first Canadian woman to play and score in a college football game, the same week that a CBC story by Sonali Karnick details just how hard it is to buy Canadian women’s soccer merchandise online. 11:20

Elliott's moment is somewhat muted by what happened within the New York Mets organization, the Washington Football Team and the court process American gymnasts have had to go through recently — all cases dealing with the mistreatment of women in sports.

"While this Simon Fraser news is fantastic and don't get me wrong, as a former female athlete, I think it's amazing to see more and more women in sports doing things that have not been done before. At the same time, sports needs to realize that they still have many problems within the sports landscape," McPeak said.

Recently, the need for better marketing and access to merchandise for fans of the recent Olympic gold medal-winning Canadian women's soccer team came to light.

"This is such a missed opportunity for [Canada Soccer] because your women's team has just won a gold medal at the Olympics — their profile is never going to be higher than it was last month," Campbell said. "You're never going to have an opportunity to extend that profile like the one that has just fallen in your lap, if you can take advantage of that, via merchandising, via licensing deals.

"I've seen more of the women's eight's rowing team since the Olympics than I've seen of the women's soccer team. If Rowing Canada can figure out [how] to get their gold medallists out there and keep them in the public eye, keep them the sport's profile high, keep talent coming in because kids see this and they say, 'Hey, I can do that,' then I don't know what gives with [Canada Soccer]."

Zirin said the recent news is a reminder for how progress isn't always linear.

"When you have these stories that make you feel good and then you think to yourself, 'Wow, Major League Baseball is thinking of partnering with Barstool Sports? An empire that was founded on the very foundation of sexist garbage.'"

"It really makes you think about how this just might have to be an ongoing battle as long as we play these games and that can be a source, for me, of some frustration because you want at some point, to put this in the dust bin of history and be able to move forward."

The panel also discussed American 100-metre sprinter, Trayvon Bromell, who outdid his world-lead time with a 9.76-second performance at the Kip Keino Classic in Nairobi, Kenya this past weekend.

Bromell, 26, who failed to make the Olympic final, had to fend off Kenyan Ferdinand Omanyala, who finished second in an African record 9.77 seconds, busting the myth of East Africans only being able to run long distances.

WATCH | Bromell saves best race for last:

Trayvon Bromell, Ferdinand Omanyala steal the show at Kip Keino Classic

4 months ago
Duration 7:06
The ‘Bring It In’ panel breaks down the final 100m race of the 2021 track season, and what Ferdinand Omanyala’s historic run does to stereotypes about East-African runners. 7:06

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