Editorial: We are all Gryphons

Gryphon. That’s what you call both genders of the mythological creature. A female gryphon is not a “lady gryphon” or a “gryphoness.”

Like other schools and colleges across the country, we include “lady” on some of our jerseys. Collierville High Schools calls their women’s teams the “Lady Dragons,” and Schilling Farms calls their women’s teams the “Lady Stallions,” even though a stallion by definition is a male. The word “Lady” before the mascot’s name that are listed across the front of some jerseys of women’s athletic uniforms may seem insignificant to some, but they are indicative of unequal treatment of boys’ and girls’ sports.

In the sports announcements we hear in chapels and emails, women’s sports can feel like afterthoughts, even though a third of our team state championship and half of our individual state championships are women’s. Just two weeks ago, news of softball’s exciting first win of the season and sophomore Lindsey Pepper’s grand slam was skimmed over in favor of announcing a baseball player’s injury in chapel.

The arrival of the Bleacher Creatures organization has improved the promotion of both women’s and men’s sports significantly. Instead of individual members in the school community sending out emails about their sports team’s games, a process that frequently left out women’s sports, the Bleacher Creatures have streamlined that process, sending out mass electronic announcements that give information about every athletic event, men’s and women’s, happening that week.

But that doesn’t mean that we, as a school, are done fighting for equal support for male and female sports. On any given day, you will probably see more fans at a baseball game than a softball game, more fans at a boys’ basketball game than girls’ basketball game, and so on. We need to show out to support our female athletes just as much as we do for our male athletes.

We now have a chance to encourage that change. A group of seniors have created a school spirit app, Gryph Nation, which will be released late April, with the purpose of bringing school spirit to new heights while also giving more support and recognition to less popular sports and activities.

This app paves the way for equal support among sports, as one of the key aspects of the app will be giving students fewer points for attending more popular sports games, such as football or basketball, and more points for those with less support, including girls basketball and softball. These less popular sports are typically the female counterparts to their male equivalents, and we hope this app will slowly bring more equality to St. George’s school spirit.

The journey to this equality is an uphill battle, and, so long as there are still differences in the way we support girls and boys in sports, even “Gryphons” versus “Lady Gryphons,” there will still be progress to be made. However, we applaud the upperclassmen who have launched these endeavors to make a change, and we encourage more students to continue to make a difference so we can one day treat all sports as one.