Dick’s Sporting Goods has come under fire by a 12-year-old WNBA fan when she noticed the newest sporting catalog did not feature any girls inside. Upon closer inspection, she did find one female within the catalog — sitting in the bleachers of a sporting event. The obvious gender bias left McKenna Peterson upset with the sporting goods chain, so she decided to write them a letter.
Mckenna Peterson is a fanatic when it comes to the WNBA, and plays basketball as well. The catalog from Dick’s Sporting Goods initially ushered excitement as she anticipated browsing the gear within. However, that excitement quickly faded as she realized each and every page catered to the men of sports with nearly no reference to women players in the selections. It wasn’t until she looked closer that a woman was found in one photo, sitting in the bleachers. To McKenna, the single appearance of a woman only acts to perpetuate the stereotype that woman sit in the stands while men play the sports.
Instead of taking her outrage to social media and boycotting Dick’s Sporting Goods, she decided to write a letter to the sporting goods giant and share her dismay. She asked for nothing more than a reason for the lack of female inclusion, hoping to hear back some sort of response.
McKenna’s father is a reporter for the Phoenix News, possibly where her inspiration to write the letter came from. Once written, her father tweeted a photo of the letter to Dick’s Sporting Goods Twitter account, which was then re-tweeted by The Phoenix Mercury and some members of their staff. Dick’s Sporting Goods has failed to respond directly via Twitter at this time.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has been accused of gender bias in the past at the store level, but has not been called out so blatantly in regards to their catalog content. It was noted in McKenna’s letter that women are often seen sitting in the stands in Dick’s catalogs, or in the shoe section. However, there are no action shots of women playing sports in the catalog. She scoured the catalog for any mention of women possible, and was sure to mention them in the letter.
“There are NO girls in the catalog! Oh, wait, sorry. There IS a girl in the catalog on page 6. SITTING in the STANDS. Women are only mentioned once in the catalog on page 5 for some shoes. And there are cheerleaders on some coupons. It’s hard enough for girls to break through in this sport as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalog.”
[Photo Courtesy: Nooga]