2021 has been a successful year for LatinX athletes. From the Olympics to their success in professional sports, LatinX athletes have represented their cultures in a more prominent way.
Though 55 million Latinos make up 17 percent of the current U.S. population, their number across most major American sports is staggeringly low. Latinos are most present in Major League Baseball, where they represent 28.5 percent of the league. As the Latino population continues to grow in our country, their presence in sports outside of baseball is not following suit.
There are many well-known Latina athletes such as Diana Taurasi, Laurie Hernandez, and Rachel Garcia. However, it can be difficult for young Latina athletes to get into sports. They face many barriers, namely the message they receive that Latina girls don’t belong in sports. In one study, 54.6% of high school girls played on at least one sports team, and only 48.4% of Hispanic/Latina girls did.
Though Latinx athletes are beginning to gain more traction, there still needs to be more awareness about the lack of LatinX, specifically women, in sports. Several athletes have started raising awareness about this, including baseball star David Ortiz. There is still a long way to go, but things are looking up for Latinx athletes.