Girl’s letter to Dick’s Sporting Goods calls out gender imbalance in catalog

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McKenna Peterson, 12, received positive feedback about her letter to Dick's Sporting Goods.

By Jordan Bissell, Special to CNN

A 12-year-old girl from Arizona has called out Dick’s Sporting Goods for failing to include female athletes in its 2014 basketball catalog — and she’s getting plenty of backup on the Web.

McKenna Peterson’s letter to the company, which her father later tweeted, drew attention to the lack of gender equality in the ads.

“I think that girls should be treated as equally as boys are treated,” she wrote. “I, myself, enjoying playing and watching basketball, WOMENS basketball.”

The self-proclaimed “Fabulous Basketball Player” has been praised on Twitter for bringing attention to the issue.

Although the basketball catalog does include women, they are portrayed in passive or supportive roles: “sitting in the stands” or “mentioned once in the catalog on page 5 for some shoes” or as “cheerleaders on some coupons,” McKenna wrote.

“It’s hard enough for girls to break through in this sport as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalog,” she added.

The Petersons say they may take their business elsewhere unless Dick’s resolves to include more women in its advertising; McKenna even named several of her favorite professional women’s basketball players who would fit the bill in the letter.

“Maybe my dad will take me to some other store that supports girls to actually PLAY basketball and follow their dreams and not sit on the sidelines and watch the game to get my next pair of shoes and equipment,” McKenna wrote.

McKenna’s father, Chris Peterson, said via Twitter that he’d heard back from Dick’s regarding McKenna’s letter, but he hasn’t released the details. Watch this space for updates.

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  • Fedup

    12 years old and already a whiner. This girl could possibly run for the Olympics in whining in a few years. Oh well, this is the USA and we are world class whiners.

      • Dick Beninya

        The point is it’s “Dick’s Sporting Goods”, not Diane’s sporting goods! Where is this “women’s basketball store” she’s threatening to take her business to? The problem with women’s basketball, and most women’s sports is that they aren’t a pure competition driven business model, they are mandated by federal law. Without Title IX there would be no girls basketball, baseball, golf, tennis….. Let’s take away the government mandate ( the one the boys don’t need to create their own marketplace) and see what happens to these so called “women’s sports”!

      • Dick Beninya

        And further more…. Why is separate but (allegedly) equal acceptable for sex based situations, but completely unacceptable for race, creed, national origin……

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