When I Grow Up, I Want to Work in Sports

Name: Spencer Barnes
Pronouns: He/Him
Instagram: bigspencedawg

After entering college confidently knowing that I wanted to work in “sports” and graduating four years later with few details as to exactly what that meant, it took another year or two to fully realize that my passions lie at the heart of sport and all that it intersects with. I joined the Women’s Sports Foundation in the summer of 2020 and since then have had the chance to positively contribute to increasing and enhancing opportunities for girls and women to play sports. Fortunately, this also means that issues like racism, transphobia, xenophobia, nationalism, militarism, and so many others are woven into this work and are problems I work to help eliminate, rather than working around and ignoring.

As a white, able-bodied, cishet man from a middle-class family, I understand that there are already too many people in the world (and especially within the U.S.) who look like me that speak too much, have too much power, and believe that something is correct simply because “that’s how it’s always been done.” So I’m thankful for the path I’ve taken to where I am in sports, and that there are enough people from backgrounds that have been consistently discriminated against still willing and able to fight for better despite societal systems—including sports—continually failing and/or harming them. I am far from perfect and always will be. But I will continue to listen, learn, grow, and be intentional in leveraging tailwinds and passing along any platforms I’m afforded because of the demographic boxes I fill in to those whose backgrounds differ from mine.

I’ve always known that sports would be a part of what I do; it’s what I’ve always been most passionate about. The Women’s Sports Foundation has shown me a tangible example of what progress (always coming slower than we hope for) looks like, and what the next 50+ years of my life might entail.

Have a story you want to share? Click here.