Nike picked the wrong kid to mess with… Jacob has been ranting about this, so I told him to sit down and put it into words. With a little help from mom and dad, he wrote this letter, which I just sent out to Nike…
Nike World Headquarters
One Bowerman Dr.
Beaverton, OR 97005
To Whom It May Concern,
I’m a 13-year-old soccer fanatic. I have been following the U.S. Women’s team for months – since the qualifying rounds. And it was difficult at first; the games were barely on TV. In order to watch the earlier round games of the women’s team, I usually had to go onto one of those illegal TV broadcasting websites.
After watching them dodge Brazilian bullets in the quarterfinals and watching them rush past France in the semifinals, they have finally made it back to the Finals for the first time in twelve years. So for the cherry on top, all I wanted was a jersey of my favorite soccer player, Hope Solo.
But sadly, finding a men’s Hope Solo jersey is easier said than done. In fact, it is presently impossible. They simply aren’t made. And I am not the only one upset about this. A quick Google search of “Men’s Hope Solo jersey” will show you that many others are also searching for them.
Despite the growth in popularity of women’s soccer and other sports, there is clearly a long way to go until they are treated equally with men’s sports. It is a sad state of affairs when even a team’s sponsor and uniform provider – Nike – does not recognize that female athletes can appeal to men and boys as well as women and girls.
It is already established that male athletes can appeal to fans of both genders. It is time to recognize that women athletes have the same ability. There is a word for not doing so: sexism.
For as far as female athletes have come, they will never be treated as equals if the very entities that should be supporting them treat them as separate and unequal.
On Sunday, I will be watching the World Cup Finals and cheering my hardest. But without a Hope Solo jersey. Maybe next time.
-Sincerely, Jacob Paul