Nicole Lavoi, who blogs on issues in youth and women’s sports, has an interesting take on media portrayals of women athletes. Noting the instances in which female athletes are pictured with as little clothing as decorum will allow, she writes:
Yes, posing semi/nude provides short term exposure, but no data exist that demonstrates such images lead to additional sponsorships, contract extensions, increased pay, or respect and credibility for female athletes. In nearly every professional context, when women take off their clothes it does not lead to respect and perceived credibility and competence. Additionally no data exist that demonstrates such images increase TV ratings, fan attendance, or season ticket sales….therefore opportunity for the greater good and league sustainability might actually be undermined when individual female athletes are portrayed this way.