Fairer, Not Equal: Elite Professional Female Athletes And Women's Sports Media Coverage



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Objective: This study examines the perceptions held by elite professional female athletes in regards to the media coverage of women’s sports and explores how these athletes view themselves as members of society.

Method: Data were collected by individual semistructured interviews between the primary researcher and 12 members of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). A qualitative descriptive thematic analysis was used to analyze the data.

Results: The athletes interviewed indicated being an elite professional female athlete has its challenges and sacrifices, but agreed they hold an important role in attempting to change society’s view of female athletes and women’s sports.

Conclusions: The coverage of women’s sports by media organizations, in general, is low and the athletes interviewed for this study feel those in society do not see them as athletes.



Female athletes, Women's sports, Media coverage, Media, Mass communication