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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Portland sports bar draws attention to inequity in televised women’s sports


We have all spent time watching a game with friends at a bar, so when I stumbled upon this story in the the Guardian early on Mother’s Day morning it got me thinking about something I had never thought about before. In a move to address the inequity in women’s sports being televised at sports bars, a group of women in Portland, Ore., decided to open a bar that exclusively shows only women’s sports on its televisions. The Sports Bra opened its doors on April 1 after raising more than $100,000 in a Kickstarter campaign. According to a UNESCO study on gender equality, 40% of professional athletes are women but women’s sports only make up 4% of all media coverage. Jenny Nguyen, the bar’s founder and owner, said its approach is to “take that 4% that is showing and put it on blast.” Jamie Orr was among those who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign and was also its first customer. “To have a sports bar where you’re not going to have to fight to get the back TV turned on to a women’s game, it’s just great,” she said. Leah Hinkle, the general manager of the Oregon Ravens, a Women’s National Football Conference team whose games are televised at the Sports Bra, said the establishment is raising awareness of women’s sports. “But equity isn’t just about divvying up screen time,” she said. “Equity is about having what you need to succeed. Women’s sports need a movement and the Sports Bra is making a statement.” With the dearth of televised women’s sports, Nguyen said the bar turns off its TVs when women’s sports aren’t available to highlight the lack of coverage. “We use that weakness as a talking point to draw attention to it,” she said. “I would love to play 24/7 women’s sports in here, but it’s just not possible.”

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