Women in sports breaking ground in a way that goes beyond 2015 – Los Angeles Times

Leave it to the father of two teenage girls to confront the presumption that women are the weaker sex when it comes to sports.

When President Obama welcomed the World Cup champion U.S. women’s soccer team to the White House this fall by saying “playing like a girl means you’re a badass,” his became the loudest voice in a growing chorus acknowledging what has been a breakthrough year for women in U.S. sports.

Over the past 12 months, women have beaten down doors once thought impenetrable. They’ve joined the NFL, both as an assistant coach and as an on-field official, while the NBA now has two female assistant coaches, two female referees and in Michele Roberts, the first woman to head the players’ union in a major men’s professional sports league.

The Oakland Athletics recently became the first major league team to hire a female coach and, in August, ESPN made Jessica Mendoza the first female analyst to work a big league game on a major network.

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