Professional sports heavily favor men. There are plenty of sports where there is only one league, generally exclusively for men (ex: football – NFL). Other sports have leagues for men and women, but one is clearly the dominate (ex: basketball – NBA/WNBA). It is rare to find a sport where the two leagues are equal or where woman dominate, but some do exist (tennis – ATP/WTA).
Because professional sports lean so strongly toward men, there is little recognition of the lifetime accomplishments of female athletes. Which is why this past week had a great piece of news coming from the Hockey Hall of Fame. The first two woman were inducted into the Hall: U.S. legend Cammi Granato and Canadian pioneer Angela James.
James is a Toronto native instrumental in Canada winning the first four gold medals at the women’s world championships that began in the 1990’s. She was also was named the most valuable player at eight of 12 national championships in which she participated. She has been a player, an official, and now coaches.
Granato represented America at every World Championship from 1990 to 2005. She captained the first U.S. Olympic women’s team in 1998, scored the first Olympic goal for the Americans and led her teammates to the first gold medal at that tournament. She won two Four Nations Cups, one World Championship and was awarded the 2007 Lester Patrick Trophy for exemplary service to U.S. hockey.
Two excellent choices for the first inductees. The only complaint is that this honor was far too long in coming. This is something Granato herself acknowledged:
“For women in hockey – and I’d say probably for women in all sports – you’re used to waiting, you’re used to proving yourself, you’re used to the naysayers,” said Granato. “There will be some catching up to do in terms of inductions, because women’s hockey has been played for a long time now – and even before the international game and the Olympics came into being, there were a lot of women who were contributing to the game.”
Now that the first two have been inducted, here is hoping that they will just be the first in many.
-That is all.