Essay On Women's Sports During The Civil Rights Movement

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In today’s day and age, many, if not most, people enjoy sports either by playing, coaching or spectating. At a certain point in time, not everyone was able to do these things. During the Civil Rights Movement, sports were turned upside down and sports became accessible to a wider range of people. Many important athletes such as Jackie Robinson came out of the era and opened the public’s eye. Several became activists or coaches and changed sports in a way that hadn’t been done before. Outside of their sports they became public role models and were looked up to. They overcame obstacles and fought through a lot of adversity not only from opponents and spectators but teammates as well. Had the advancement of sports during the Civil RIghts Movement…show more content…
Just as the leagues for African-Americans were lesser and different, women’s sports were the same. There were no true professional leagues for any women to play in at this point in history. A sport that was greatly affected was long distance running. Katherine Switzer and Roberta Gibb were two women who wanted to compete at a higher level. One of their greatest feats was running the Boston marathon. Before 1967, women were not allowed to run the marathon. Gibb attempted to run illegally in the marathon. At some point in the race they were pulled out by race officials. Then in 1967 things changed. Switzer became the first numbered woman in the Boston Marathon. When she signed up she put her name down as K.V. Switzer and was accepted. When people heard of women playing sports or running long distances they wondered if their bodies could handle the stress and if it would affect their childbearing abilities. As women’s athletics progressed through the Civil Rights Movement the became more widespread at all levels and more competitive. The Division for Girls and Women in Sports was formed to organize the ever growing sports. It was the first program for women at the intercollegiate
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