4 Hastings Women's L.J. 209 (1993)
Toward Gender Equality in Professional Sports

handle is hein.journals/haswo4 and id is 215 raw text is: Toward Gender Equality in Professional Sports
by Syda Kosofsky*
Women have limited professional opportunities in sports: there are
few sports in which they can become professional athletes, and where there
are careers available, the number of positions is small and the pay is rarely
enough to make a living. In contrast, men have many lucrative job
opportunities in sports. The sports community justifies this overt discrimi-
nation by citing differences in male and female athletic ability and
explaining the need to yield to consumer demand. Although biological
differences between males and females affect their respective athletic
performances,' there are even more compelling social explanations for the
difference in performance levels.' There are many social factors which
steer women out of sports or into unpopular sports and relegate lower pay
and fewer opportunities to professional women athletes. This creates a
socially constructed discriminatory situation for women in professional
sports, and no adequate legal remedies exist to correct the problem.3
This article will explore the gender inequality which is present in
professional sports.4 Facts about the existing inequalities, specifically, the
* B.A., Environmental Studies, B.A., Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz,
1991; J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, Class of 1994. The
author wishes to thank the Women's Sports Foundation for providing research material, and
members of the Hastings Women's Law Journal who contributed their time and efforts,
especially Sara Levin, who was instrumental to the writing and editing processes.
1. See infra notes 37-43 and accompanying text.
2. See infra notes 44-112 and accompanying text.
3. See infra notes 144-184 and accompanying text.
4. There is also gender inequality in amateur athletics. Female amateur athletes
currently have more legal tools for challenging inequalities, and there have been some
sucess stories: in 1993, a female boxer challenged the policy of the nation's governing
body of amateur boxing which prohibited females from competing, and won her case. See
Melanie Mavrides, Small Jab Also Big Step for Women, N.Y. TIMEs, Nov. 1, 1993, at B10.
The Amateur Sports Act of 1978 requires that the national governing bodies of amateur
sports provide athletes, coaches, trainers, managers, administrators, and officials an equal
opportunity to participate in amateur competitions without discrimination on the basis of
sex. 36 U.S.C.  391(b)(6) (1993). See Paula Cabot, Public Acceptance of Women in
Sport, Address at Conference, Women and Sport: The New Agenda, Issue 2, at 14 (Nov.



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