Gone girls

05.11.13

Why Are Female Athletes Absent From Sports Illustrated Covers?

Out of 716 issues since 2000, women athletes have been featured only five percent of the time.

Women are notably absent from Sports Illustrated covers—unless they are supermodels, not star athletes. Thus found a study from the University of Louisville’s Deparment of Sociology, which looked at 716 issues of the magazine published between 2000 and 2011 and found that less than five percent featured women sports warriors. The statistics are even worse for women of color; only 11 of the 716 issues showed a non-white female athlete on the cover. (And the survey didn’t even include the Swimsuit Issues, which always feature the model du jour.) Depressingly, these statistics are worse than in the bad old Mad Men days; between 1954 and 1965, female athletes landed on the cover 12 percent of the time.