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American Women Athletes Part Five: At the Movies

EDIT: So I deleted this cause I was having trouble cutting the post, saw nojojojo and decided to leave it deleted, but it got crossposted anyway. Whoops.

Have a midweek linkspam. (Alas a blog? This post is video heavy)

I went to see Whip It a few weeks ago. It was absolutely wonderful! The Roller Derby scenes in particular left me cheering and full of adrenaline, and the fact that the movie made the love story a secondary plot and focused on her sporting evolution was the icing on the cake! And it got me thinking, of course. Sport movies featuring men are a dime a dozen. Sports movies featuring women? Not so much. So I went looking and came up with these. Note ye the overwhelming whiteness on the list. If I have missed some, let me know in the comments?

Whip it Roller Derby

Bend it like Beckham Football

Stick it Gymnastics

A League of Their Own Baseball

Million Dollar Baby Boxing

Blue Crush Surfing

Kansas City Bomber Roller Derby

11 thoughts on “American Women Athletes Part Five: At the Movies”

  1. Vox says:

    I haven’t seen it yet because I suck, but I’ve heard “Girlfight” is good. I keep meaning to rent it.

    “Love and Basketball” maybe? It doesn’t really fit the criteria, though.

    Those are about the only recent theatrical releases I can think of not on your list, and they’re both almost ten years old. And the only not-recent one I can think of is “National Velvet.”

  2. Elli says:

    Hmmm.. I thought of “Love and Basketball” with Sanaa Lathan and “Girlfight” with Michelle Rodriguez. Neither of them were “mainstream” movies though, still I enjoyed them both.

  3. Rob Hansen says:

    Out of curiosity, why was ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ included in a post titled ‘American Women Athletes…’?

    1. unusualmusic says:

      honestly? I wasn’t paying attention. I loved it dearly and I just included because of that. :) I would have still included it, but made a note that it wasn’t American.

      1. Rob Hansen says:

        Yeah, it’s a great movie and I love that it launched the careers of Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightly, neither of whom would probably have enjoyed the subsequent success they have if it hadn’t been as popular in the US as it was.

  4. Grace says:

    There are a few smaller ones, like Rigged (boxing), Pushed to the Limit (wrestling), and Kansas City Bombers (roller derby). Or, if you want to stretch, you could include Karate Kid III (karate) and Wimbledon (tennis). But you’re right, there aren’t very many.

  5. Audrey P. says:

    Rob Hansen: This is part of a series of posts on African American women athletes. In this case, it’s showing that women’s sports movies are NOT about African American women athletes. Obviously, of all the list, Bend It Like Beckham is a movie heavily centered around Indian culture in England, but it’s on a list of white sports movies and, hey, the love interest and best friend are white.

    I gotta say though, I sincerely loved Whip It! The fact that the movie focused on the friendships between the women and not their relationships with men was especially refreshing.

    1. unusualmusic says:

      not african american women athletes, women athletes on a whole. I forgot to explain that bend it like beckham wasn’t American, that’s all. :) But i was really surprised at the almost total lack of poc in sport movies though.

    2. unusualmusic says:

      I gotta say though, I sincerely loved Whip It! The fact that the movie focused on the friendships between the women and not their relationships with men was especially refreshing.

      GOD yes!

  6. s says:

    I neeeed to see Whip It. Unfortunately, from what I’ve seen, the whiteness of the movie is a pretty accurate representation of roller derby. :/

    You counting dance as a sport? If so… How She Move (w/ Rutina Wesley!):

    It’s set in Toronto, though.

  7. emylie_bo_bemylie says:

    My two suggestions (“Love and Basketball” and “Girlfight”) were already said. The only other movies I can think of are “The Longshots” which I didn’t see but it’s about a pre-teen african american girl whose uncle (played by Ice Cube) helps her learn to play football and join a boy’s team and “Gracie” which is about a white teenage girl who joins her school’s boy’s soccer team after her team star brother dies in an accident. I don’t know if either of them were any good though.

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