Double You Tee Eff: X-Games Cuts Women’s Vert Skateboarding From Their List of Events
The X-Games were founded in order to give attention to athletes who were failing to get mainstream attention and were not being viewed as “real” athletes. And it has suceeded in that aim. However, at the same time, the X-Games seem determined to minimize the athleticism of one group of people.
But since that group is women? It’s kind of a BIG group.
While women’s events at the X-Games have always gotten less coverage than men’s events, they’ve taken it a step too far, now: they have eliminated the Women’s Vert Skateboarding event.
ESPN has tried to soften the blow by saying that women will still have a street skate event, as well as being able to compete in women’s Moto X, Supercross and a new event, Moto X Enduro. Which, you know, nice, but…um…how does that stack up to the number of events men can compete in? Well, assuming that all of the men’s competitions are returning from last year, plus the addition of the Men’s Moto X Enduro, that equals 22 events for the boys. And 4 for the ladies.
Um…is it just me or is that REALLY NOT OKAY?
X-Games Gold Medalist Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins voiced her disapproval of this choice by saying “‘So what the heck are we supposed to dream of now? As it stands today, we have no vert contests to look forward to. This, unfortunately, is going to end the growth for women’s vert skating as we know it.” And her point is right on: while ESPN claims they need to cut the event due to lack of interest, how is interest supposed to grow if the event isn’t made visible? It’s not as if much coverage has even been given to the event in recent years, it’s been relegated to blurbs on TV and online streaming, while the men’s vert competition is shown live with great pomp.
And it’s not just the girls who are upset about this. Pro-Skating legend Tony Hawk is not happy about this choice either. “I think it’s a shame, especially with the amount of interest in women’s skating and new talent lately.” It’s extremely interesting that he talks about the interest and talent in the sport, while ESPN is claiming that there has been a decline in it.
Sorry, ESPN, I’ve gotta side with Tony on this one. ‘Cause, you know. Tony Hawk and all.