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The WPS Shuts down for 2012 Season

According to the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) communications announcement on January 30th its Board of Governors has voted to suspend the 2012 season to permit the League to focus on the resolution of certain pending legal issues and the challenges that now face the League as a result of its ongoing dispute with a former owner.

According to the WPS website they voted on Monday morning to suspend the 2012 season. They state, “Over the last year the league has faced significant challenges, including a lengthy and expensive legal battle with a former owner. The litigation has diverted resources from investment in the league and has forced the Board to take action, suspending the 2012 season in order to address the legal issues head-on before moving forward with competition.”

WPS has established its plans to return to play in 2013, and all five owners of the League’s existing teams – Atlanta Beat, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash – will remain active with the CEO, Jennifer O’Sullivan, in the governance of WPS throughout the current year.”We are deeply grateful to our fans and partners for the tremendous support they have shown for WPS, our players and the sport,” added O’Sullivan.

Really? Again a women’s league shuts down, takes a break or disappears completely? In all the recent activity about what Title IX has afforded us, we take two steps forward and three steps back. Why should our sisters, our friends, or our daughters work endlessly to get to a world class level in a sport to find out once she’s gotten to the top…no one wants her. There’s no money, no audience, no team, no fans…but thanks for trying, better luck next year.

We as mothers, sisters, athletes, and fans need to get behind our women’s athletics so that teams don’t fail and take a league that has amazingly talented players from Olympic silver medalists dancing across its fields, down with it. Fans in seats, buying concessions and jerseys get sponsorships. They don’t just create the spine tingling sounds as a goal or basket is scored.

“I don’t really know anything about sports,” is a phrase I often hear. But each and every one of us knows what it’s like to have a dream, to succeed, to work hard, to sacrifice, to bleed what it is that we are passionate about! They persevere, they play through pain, and they go on an international stage and lay it all out in the name of the USA. They all have a story…AN AMAZING STORY of what it took to get to an elite level. Yet, the curtain closes…the music stops…and there she stands. I can only imagine. I cannot believe there aren’t women who feel like that 8 year old girl who scored her first goal and looks to the sidelines for someone with whom to share that intense gratification of success, of glory…only to realize mom or dad didn’t show up for the game after all…like they had promised. We owe our professional athletes more.

I challenge you reader, one and all. I challenge you to learn about your local players. They want you as fans. They want to smile at you from the court or field. They want to shake your hands, they want to make you cheer. I challenge you to go to a game of a team that you may not have heard of, maybe for a sport you don’t know much about. Go and clap, watch how effortlessly they make it look. Go cheer on the fact that against all odds and millions of other women that they, as little girls persevered, and never gave up. They put in the extra hours. Many of them have represented you in the Olympics. Many of them are the best in the world. They aren’t paid a fraction what their male counter parts make. They don’t do it for the Gatorade endorsements.

These women compete everyday and continually win in the hope that they will see you, a new fan, or a loyal fan, sitting in the stands enjoying the results of their lifetime of work. I have previously asked myself, “What can I do to pave the way for the next generation as the generation before me has done?” The previous generation of women has gotten us this far. It’s now up to us to promise little girls that their dreams will still be here, waiting for them. Here we are, in the stands, clapping, standing, calling your name out, so that the little girls of today have amazing women to look up to, and still a dream to chase as they sleep.

Support your local pro athletes. Go to a game.

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About The Athlesbian

Meg was born and raised in Chicago where she became an avid sports fan the moment she laid her eyes on her first ball. She has a knack for picking up any sport quickly as most four sport high school athletes would. Meghan played two sports in college and spent her post college years playing women’s pro football, capturing a national title, before having to quit due to injury. She still plays numerous sports in rec leagues around the city and boasts at a recent team tryout knocked out 51 consecutive push-ups in a minute. Always willing to try something new she just played in her first rugby match. Meghan currently works as a fire-medic and is finishing her Master’s degree from University of Chicago, and no, unfortunately, its not in sports reporting!

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