Five Moments When President Obama Championed Women In Sports – Forbes

For eight years President Barack Obama was America’s sports-fan-in-chief. There was no pretending – his passion for sports was long and deep. Like presidents before him, Obama was an athletic president who threw out first pitches and invited championship teams to the White House.

But Obama was the first president who prominently and purposefully advocated for women in sports. No other president has spoken more often about the benefits of women participating in sports and the challenges associated with gender inequality.

During his last official press conference, Obama used the final moments of his presidency to acknowledge dominant women athletes and Title IX’s impact on sports.

The US 2015 Women’s World Cup Team’s Abby Wambach (L) and Carli Lloyd (2nd R) present US President Barack Obama with a team jersey during an event honoring them at the White House in Washington, DC, October 27, 2015. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

“More than half of our medals [from the 2016 Olympics] came from women,” said Obama when describing the diversity of Team USA. “And the reason is, is because we had the foresight several decades ago, with something called Title IX, to make sure that women got opportunities in sports, which is why our women compete better — because they have more opportunities than folks in other countries.”

Whether he was attending a WNBA game, coaching his daughter’s basketball team, or filling out a women’s basketball NCAA tournament bracket, Obama’s commitment to girls and women in sports was unwavering. Here are five moments when the 44th President showed America what a feminist looks like.

Equal pay for equal work

“Equal pay for equal work should be a fundamental principle of our economy,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday in a speech commemorating Equal Pay Day. “It’s the idea that whether you’re a high school teacher, a business executive, or a professional soccer player or tennis player, your work should be equally valued and rewarded, whether you are a man or a woman.”Remarks by President Obama on Equal Pay Day at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Museum on April 12, 2016.

Playing like a girl means you’re a badass

“This team taught all America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass. Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that phrase. Playing like a girl means being the best.  It means drawing the largest TV audience for a soccer match –- men or women’s –- in American history.  It means wearing our nation’s crest on your jersey, taking yourself and your country to the top of the world.  That’s what American women do.  That’s what American girls do.”Remarks by President Obama honoring the U.S. Women’s National Team on October 27, 2015.

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