In a skit on Inside Amy Schumer, the comedienne parodies how female athletes are prized for appearance rather than prowess. In it, two sports announcers commentate a match between fictional tennis players Bridget Everett and Amy Schumerenka (parodic takes on Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, respectively). All along, the announcers refuse to acknowledge Everett’s talent, saying only that she’s temperamental and “heaves and sweats like a Clydesdale,” but praise Schumerenka’s “on-court charisma” despite her athletic ineptitude. At the end of the skit, Schumerenka receives a crowdsourced consolation prize, greater than Everett’s winning prize, because she was “so gorgeous throughout the entire match that it was almost like [she] won.”
This calls to mind the J.K. Rowling and Serena Williams incident, in which JK Rowling tweeted her support for the tennis superstar and someone replied: “she is built like a man,” echoing the sentiment of the president of the Russian Tennis Federation, Shamil Tarpischev, who quipped that Venus and Serena were “brothers.” It also reminds us of the controversial endorsement disparity between Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, the latter attracting $10 million more from companies even though she’s an inferior player. Williams accepted this with dignity, saying: “I’m happy for her because she worked hard, too,” and understanding the sentiment, best summed up by USAToday’s Chris Chase:
“The argument goes that since Serena is so much better on the court than Sharapova, she deserves more money from companies, a belief so deluded and so at odds with everything we know about sports, entertainment and business that it boggles the mind. (Meryl Streep is the best actress, how dare she not get salary of a Jennifer Lawrence!)”
With that all now said, let’s plunge into this list of 10 female athletes who, in spite of athletic skill, are mostly watched for their sexual merit.
10 Danica Patrick
9 Julie Johnston
Julie Johnston is an American soccer player for the Women’s World Cup soccer team. She is pretty, blond, and 5’7”. She is also a wickedly good soccer player. Grantland says that she has engineered an almost airtight defense, giving for example the game against Chile in the 2015 Women’s World Cup in which the goalkeeper “scarcely saw any action.”
8 Blair O’Neal
7 Skylar Diggins
6 Erica Hosseini
5 Maria Kirilenko
4 The Bella Twins
3 Eugenie Bouchard
2 Gina Carano
1 Anna Kournikova
Anna Kournikova is a former professional tennis player. Although she never won a singles title, she reached #8 in the world at the turn of the millennium. She was more of a doubles kind of gal, being occasionally #1 in the world in the category. She won two doubles titles, one in 1999 and one 2000, both in Australia. At 21, her tennis career was cut short by back and spine injuries, including a herniated disk. In 2011, she was a trainer on season 12 of The Biggest Loser, the Darwinian NBC show where they enslave and abuse fat people until they're passably thin. At the peak of her athletic fame, Anna Kournikova was such a hot item that her name string was one of the most searched things on Google. Her long, blonde hair, impressive height, and attractive smile might explain why.
Sources: Sports Illustrated, Heavy, The Examiner, EOnline
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