Taking the Hits
Published on Feb. 26 2020
Athletes open up about their feelings towards stereotypes involving their sports.
By Che Muñoz
Here at AHS, we promote anti-bully awareness, and we teach our students to refrain from making harsh comments about each other, but how much of this awareness extends to our student athletes? With all of the sports here, there are a number of opinions and stereotypes that come along with the athletes who play them. These stereotypes can negatively affect our athletes in their performance, and with how they are viewed by others.
Volleyball is a sport at AHS that carries many stereotypes according to senior Andrea Alcantara. Alcantara played volleyball in the 2019 season as a senior. She felt like there were many stereotypes that surrounded her teammates and sport in general.
“You only tried out to look cute. It’s a girly sport, [and] that’s the only reason you tried out. You want to show off your body. It’s not even a sport; you’re just hitting a ball around,” Alcantara said.
Alcantara knows the power that these stereotypes can have on her sport, but she makes an effort to avoid these hurtful comments. She knows that by letting them affect her, it can really hurt her.
“If we took it to heart, it would affect us on the court, especially with a lot of people watching us. We all know that people have those little thoughts in their head, a little judgemental thought in their head, so obviously that gets in our heads sometimes,” Alcantara said. “But we like to play it off to prove to the people watching that we’re here to play and win. We’re not here to please you guys.” •
“We’re not here to please you guys.”
Cheerleader and senior Isabella Fitzgerald feels that she and her team are limited by stereotypes when it comes to when the team is out on the sidelines doing their dances. Fitzgerald stated that the team has to think ahead and wonder what reactions would look like to certain dances that the cheer team has to perform.
“The stereotypes affect the team as a whole because it limits us in some of the things that we do. If we want to add something to a dance, we have to think about. What will people think about this? How will people react?” Fitzgerald said.
These stereotypes can be portrayed in multiple forms of media, whether that be social media, movies, or TV shows. High school stereotypes for athletes are always being put on display.
Fitzgerald commented on how the media impacts their thoughts. “In movies and in TV shows, a lot of times cheerleaders are portrayed as...dumb...[and] all they do is dance around, but a lot of us are intelligent...” Fitzgerald said. “There’s a lot of negative connotation. It gives us a chance to show the things that we’re doing for good. The cheerleaders...[are] doing a lot more community service.” •
“It gives us a chance to show the things that we’re doing for good.”
Even though stereotypes have the ability to cloud a player’s thinking, to some, they play no role in the thinking of senior Enrique Batz. Batz plays baseball for AHS and goes on to say that these stereotypes have no effect on his in game performance.
“We could honestly care less about what people say because we know what we know about our team and how we do so. They can say what they want,” Batz said. “A lot of the stereotypes that I hear are about being cocky, and yeah, being cocky is not cool. It’s kind of annoying, but it’s just that most of the time, we can back it up."
Despite not being affected by these stereotypes, Batz acknowledges what they could do to him and his team if they are not handled or addressed properly.
“If one person hears this thing, and then they hear another thing, that thing might not be true. It’ll make the baseball team or any other team just look bad, even though that might not be true,” Batz said. •
“It’ll make the baseball team or any other team just look bad, even though that might not be true.”