Nike’s newest ad, “Dream Crazier” hits home for women in sport ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8. The commercial aired during the Oscars this past Sunday night. In the ad, Williams narrates the stories of various female athletes’ stories in sport.
“If we show emotion, we’re called dramatic. If we want to play against men, we’re nuts. And if we dream of equal opportunity, delusional.”
The focus of the commercial is similar to that of the focus of the commercial from the fall featuring Colin Kaepernick.
While Nike’s message may not have any correlation with the fact that International Women’s Day is approaching, the timing couldn’t be better. It’s a reminder that while there have been huge strides taken in advancing women’s sports, the recognition of women’s sports, and the coverage of women’s sports, there is still a long way to go.
Where do we go from here? We need to expose the greatness of female athletes more now than ever. A few weeks ago, when Kendall Coyne participated at the NHL All-Star skills competition, a video of a young girl skating went viral. The girl’s parent tweeted at Coyne, saying that after her daughter had watched the skating competition and decided she wanted to be a great hockey player.
If Coyne hadn’t been able to participate with the men at the NHL skills competition, that little girl may never have been ignited with that passion for playing a sport. She may not have known Coyne to be the person she will now look up to for years to come. For young girls who may not know if they want to or can give sports a try, they need to opportunity to see women’s teams on television, they need to be surrounded by teachers and parents who encourage them to support girls high school sports teams, not just boys teams. Supporting professional women’s teams, going to their games, not just men’s professional teams.
#BalanceforBetter is the campaign theme this year for International Women’s Day, calling for a more gender balanced world. In sports, especially, we need to make sure that women and girls are getting the same resources and opportunities as boys and men. Be treated with the same importance for big games, be giving the same amount of time for practices, the best facilities available for games. Treat everyone the same, and make sure the new generations learn from the start that boys and girls, men and women, are to be treated with the same importance.