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The Corner of Controversy and Criticism: Female Athletes- 3/8/2015

There is that old saying what a man can do, a woman can do better. There has been a lot of talk about Ronda Rousey and whether or not she could fight a guy. Well women is going to be the focus of this week and if you’re a man you might not like this man’s perspective on women in sports. There are two videos floating around of Ronda Rousey. One is of her dominating a no-name guy off the street and the other of her meeting her match against a really great UFC middleweight. I see a lot of guys that say they can take Rousey and she wouldn’t stand a chance. As someone who has done a little bit of training in MMA, I highly doubt a keyboard warrior on Facebook or an average Hollywood Joe off the street is going to get the best of Ronda Rousey. It’s not about how much you weight, how strong you are or how many bar fights you’ve been in. It’s about how smart of a fighter you are and Rousey is an extremely smart fighter,
In NASCAR, Danica Patrick is the big thing when it comes to women drivers. I am not saying I have a problem with her being in her sport but there are better female drivers that came before her that didn’t get the recognition or media attention she does because they weren’t in a commercial. Right now there is Johanna Long, Milka Duno and sometimes Jennifer Jo Cobb. They should be getting just as much media attention as Danica Patrick is. If you’re going to focus on women in NASCAR, it should be all women. I think Danica Patrick is good for NASCAR but so are the rest of the women past and present. The female viewership would go way up if they had more then one female to cheer for. 
When it comes to female athletes, quite a few of them stand out. You have the Williams sisters, Candice Parker, Hope Solo, Jennie Finch, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Natalie Gulbis and so many more. All of these women in present day are well known, When you think of past female athletes look no further then to Mia Hamm, Billie Jean King, Cheryl Miller, Lisa Leslie, Steffi Graff and so many others who paved the way and were legends in the sports they competed.
I remember a time when I was in high school and the most dominant sport was the Varsity Softball Team, I remember it well because my freshman year at Wayland Union High School I met one of the best athletes ever and her name was Jessica Merchant. She led Wayland to many wins and eventually went on to play for University of Michigan. She came from an illustrious local family of great softball players who have done great things past and present. When I think of Jessica Merchant I just don’t think of the friend I made my freshman year, I think of the captain of the 2005 Michigan team that won 2005 Women’s College World Series. I also had the privilege of watching a lot of great softball players in high school and they deserved all the recognition they got.
Do you remember the movie, A League of Their Own? When I think of female athletes I think back to that movie. These girls were tough, aggressive, talented and passionate about what they were doing. When a wonderful athlete like Rousey comes along with those same traits don’t chastise her, put her down or make her feel less because she’s a woman. That kind of thinking put’s back like sixty years. Embrace a female athlete if she’s great, and if not encourage her to do better. Women can be just as successful as men can. It’s been done and it’s been proven.  I love Rousey, and my times in high school watching the Varsity Softball team. I was proud of those girls and still think fondly of the games I went to. Simply put, DON’T DOUBT A WOMAN when it comes to sports. 
As always be safe, be strong and believe in yourself. Controversy Doesn’t Come Without Criticism. 

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