Photo J. Oben

Editors Anna Thomas (’18) and Macy McClintock (’19) debate whether “Lady Knights” is a prideful or discouraging term to refer to female sports teams.

Editors face off on the term “Lady Knights”

February 23, 2018

Throughout the country, high schools often differentiate between the male and female sports teams by adding “Lady” in front of the mascot’s name and this is a consistent pattern seen at Robinson. Read two female staffers’ response on how they think female athletes should be addressed. Comment below and tell us what you think.

Dame it, Knights

On social media, on websites and through talk around Tampa, we are known as the Robinson Knights. In that regard, there is no “Lady Knight.” A student is a student; we are all Robinson Knights. And that’s how it should always be.

I am a quarterback on the flag football team, which chooses to go by the Knights, not the Lady Knights. And I find that perfectly acceptable. All girls sports teams should go by that. But when I played softball my freshman year, the term “Lady Knights” was plastered on all of my team gear. Every time we broke it down in the team huddle after practice, we had to yell “Lady Knights” as loud as we could. I found it incredibly embarrassing and insulting.

Just because women attend Robinson, why do we feel the need to add in a gender-specific adjective in front of our mascot? Sure, in the 10th century, Knights were mostly men but there’s no need to differentiate now.

And to that point, females that held the same position as knights were called dames. Lady knights don’t exist. If we have to differentiate between the genders at our school, could we at least be historically accurate?

Honestly, I don’t like the term lady. Yes, it is the proper term for a female in a royal position. But this isn’t Camelot, it’s high school. A lady is a woman who uses “refined behavior.” Screw that. If we feel the need to segregate, can we go by something that sounds better than “Lady”?

Let’s be the “Feminine Knights” or “Womanly Knights.” If we aren’t allowed to fit in with the guys, we might as well choose a better adjective or have some fun with it.

Or, we could ditch the policy all together. Our mascot is the Knight. If you are on the girls basketball team, people will already know you’re a female. Why is there a need to change the school mascot to get the point across a second time?

It’s just messed up. If you go to Robinson, you are a Knight. Hopefully all members of the school can come to agree with that.



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Ladies, embrace the name!

The argument that “we are all Knights”, despite our sex, still stands.

Similarly, we are all people, despite our sex or race. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace what makes us different.

Girls and boys of Robinson High School take the court and field every day, but the community has unintentionally fed into the stereotype that the girls, by default, won’t be as athletically successful as the boys. Don’t believe me? Check out the turn-out at a girls basketball game versus a boys basketball game. Or a softball game compared to a baseball game. The female athletes are left to be their own cheerleaders–their own fans.

As a student-athlete (and a girl), I take pride in being a Lady Knight. I’m not the same as the boys; I don’t act, train, win, or get treated the same as boys. So, why would I want to be lumped in with them?

The Robinson flag football team is one of few girls team that goes by “Knights”. And, as they are three-time state champions as of the past four years, I’m disappointed in the fact that they abandoned the ladies–the female athletes of Robinson.

They are undoubtedly the most successful sports program at Robinson. Consequently, they gain a significant amount of attention which could lead to major feministic change in the athletic community.

Nevertheless, their accomplishments are those of the Knights, separating them from every other girl sport at the school.

Girl sports, from high school to the professional level, are still thirsty for the recognition they rightfully deserve.

So, ladies, I challenge us all to work hard, play hard, and pride ourselves on being Lady Knights. So that when the time comes for us to be the headline of the story, the people will know the girls won.

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