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Abstract

The negative consequences of patriarchy include gender inequality in sports. In both the United States and Colombia, the highest level of women’s basketball illustrates this problem. This research highlights two social and political dimensions of the problem. First, it exposes discrimination and the way in which the media trivialize the work performed by female basketball players; second, it questions the way in which women players are called “professionals” but are not always treated as such. Through a comparative analysis method, I explain some of the similar gender challenges faced by women’s basketball players in both the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the United States and the Superior Women’s Basketball League (LSBF) in Colombia. In both countries, women basketball athletes have less media coverage than the men. The Colombian media, however, normalize the labor precariousness experienced by women basketball athletes. Frequently, the media call them “professionals,” but they are not treated as such. In America, female athletes have better labor conditions than Colombian women athletes. These conditions, however, are not equal to or better than those of male players in the (men’s) NBA.

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