Most powerful women in sport: The days of women being on the sidelines as it pertains to big-time professional and collegiate sports ended long ago. While there is some truth in the perception that the sports world is one that is largely dominated by men, more and more opportunities arise for women in organizations and leagues seemingly every year. It is now, at the close of 2015, barely a blip on the radar when news breaks that a woman has landed a gig as a National Football League referee or position coach.
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While we still have a long way to go in this process, there is no question that significant progress has been made.
Forbes released in early December its list of the most powerful women in sports for 2015. Some of the women who made the top-20 are members of a family that has had control of a franchise or an organization for decades. Others, however, are athletes who have had to make their names in competitions. That includes the woman who takes up the first spot of the list. Some cynics may want to point out that this athlete has not lived up to what were probably some unrealistic expectations. That woman has, regardless of opinions, undeniably cemented her place in sports history.
20. Danica Patrick – NASCAR
Danica Patrick is not the offspring of one of the greatest NASCAR personalities in the history of the industry. Patrick is a woman who has merely wanted opportunities to prove that she can hang in the “good ol’ boys” world of racing. It would be an understatement to say that Patrick has achieved that goal. Along with breaking through barriers that now no longer exist, Patrick and her team have done well to build a successful business brand. Patrick may never win a NASCAR championship, but that does not take away from all that she has achieved during her historic career.
19. Katrina Adams – Tennis
Those who are familiar with the game of tennis know of Katrina Adams. Adams was a collegiate and professional tennis player who participated in singles and doubles competitions. She has, in the past, worked as a commentator for the Tennis Channel, and Adams has also served as Executive Director of the Harlem Junior Tennis League. A veteran of 12 years on the WTA Tour, Adams is now the CEO and President of the United States Tennis Association. Perhaps her newest mission in that job should be to try and locate the next great American male tennis player. The country could sure use one.