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Noshad Sunny Azad

For many young athletes, the opportunity to participate in youth sports leagues is a dream come true. But as Jill Filipovic writes in her essay “Let’s Play Ball,” the reality is that these leagues can be exclusive, expensive, and require a level of commitment that many people cannot afford.

Filipovic argues that the current system of youth sports leagues can create a class divide, with those who can afford the fees and commitment having access to better resources and coaching. Those who cannot often get left behind, unable to join the best teams, or even teams at all. This lack of access means that those who need the most help in developing their talents — those from low-income backgrounds — are the least likely to get it.

The costs of youth sports leagues have become increasingly prohibitive, and Filipovic points out that the fees have grown even faster than tuition at private schools. These costs can be so high that even families with good incomes may have difficulty affording them. Furthermore, the demands of these leagues — such as travel and weekly practices — can be a strain on any family, regardless of income.

Ultimately, Filipovic argues that the current system of youth sports leagues creates a class divide and makes it harder for those who are already disadvantaged to access opportunities. She calls for greater access to quality sports leagues for all, including those from low-income families. This can be accomplished by providing more financial assistance for those who need it, and by creating leagues that are more accessible to those who may not be able to commit to the same level as wealthy families.

Filipovic’s essay makes a strong case for greater access and opportunity in youth sports leagues. It’s clear that the current system can create a class divide that leaves those who are already disadvantaged at a further disadvantage. With the right changes, these leagues can become more equitable and accessible to all.

Margaret Muthoni

Jill filipovic responds to argument that the response to access and opportunity in youth sport league She introduces "they say" arguments when she says that kids from wealthier families can join costly club travel teams, but because of a lack of funding in poorer communities, there are fewer options for low-cost recreational leagues and school-sponsored sports.

Margaret Muthoni

I agree that according to Jill filipovic basketball in an expensive affair but there are poor kids who have talent and if they are funded they can be great in future.

Laksh K

I agree with Ted Lieu’s argument for increased regulation of artificial intelligence in the United States. Firstly, the United States has a general trend towards deregulation in order to foster more growth. We have seen this backfire many times, such as when deregulation and loose policies increased the severity and number of collapses of so many banks in the last recession. Because of our growth and profit-obsessed culture, we are willing to throw caution to the wind in order to achieve the best returns. However, the risk to our way of life is much too high with artificial intelligence, which is why we should create a more focused regulatory body while this technology is in its infancy. As an example, the United States has never created a specific agency to regulate the internet, and we can see where that has gotten us. Almost forty years after the creation of the internet, there is very little regulation and constant threats due to radicalization online that could be prevented with more regulation. While artificial intelligence technology is just emerging, we have an opportunity to prevent the same mistakes from the past and introduce common sense legislation for regulation. One point which Lieu makes in the article is that we may not need to regulate artificial intelligence and its use in things like home appliances, but should regulate it in spaces where it can cause more harm, such as in vehicles. However, I think that it is dangerous to leave certain areas of artificial intelligence unregulated without a baseline due to the fact that there are privacy concerns, which Ted Lieu touches on in the article. Because of how ubiquitous artificial intelligence is set to become in our society, we need specificity in legislation to protect people from invasion of privacy and infringement on their daily way of life.


In my own experiences, playing youth sports has also been important. It has not only kept me physically active but also taught me the value of teamwork, goal-setting, and resilience. It has provided me with opportunities to make lifelong friendships and develop leadership skills. Additionally, participating in youth sports has helped me develop a sense of discipline and a strong work ethic that I carry into other areas of my life. When Filipovic says that the inequity present in youth sports is "a microcosm of so much more," she means that the disparities in access and resources within youth sports reflect larger societal inequalities. It represents a system where wealthier families have more opportunities and advantages, while those from poorer communities face limited options. Paraphrasing the "so what?" and "who cares?" questions, this statement implies that the inequities in youth sports matter because they perpetuate and compound existing systemic inequalities in society. They reinforce the advantage of the already privileged and further marginalize those who lack resources and opportunities. The graphs in the Aspen Institute's State of Play 2022 report on "Cost to Play Trends" support the claim that children in the U.S. have different sports experiences based on money. The graphs likely show a disparity in participation rates, access to facilities, and resources based on socioeconomic status. This means that children from wealthier families are more likely to have access to high-quality coaching, well-maintained facilities, and specialized training, while children from poorer communities face limited options and fewer resources.


Filipovic (2023) has a unique point of view when she refers to the problem that low-income entails when it comes to youth sports. She states “It’s not just that we are denying low-income kids the chance to build healthy life-long habits. It’s that we are consigning many of them to shorter, less healthy, poorer lives.” And I agree with her, because sports have very positive connotations and if someone is less fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in any of them, they could probably end up spending their time doing things that somehow can affect their future.


In this article The Crisis of Youth Sports (2023) Filipovic explained “Team sports helped to forge important bonds between players, and taught all kinds of skills — cooperation, sportsmanship, dignified losing — that I didn't get elsewhere in my schooling”. I believe that when we are playing sports we can learn teamwork naturally. It is important to cooperate with people while living life. For example, there may be a team presentation in school or work with colleagues as a team in the company. We will work together in society so it is worth it to learn sports.


In her article “The Crisis of Youth Sports” (2023) Filipovic discusses the argumentation of a New York Times article, which “lays out all of the ways in which sports are increasingly reserved for the wealthy, while the poor are shut out”. Furthermore, the author reflects on the “long-term consequences, for everything from stress management to socialization to college admissions to physical wellbeing to incarceration to life expectancy”. In my opinion Filipovic is presenting a solid argument that emphasizes the increasing economic breach our societies is experimenting, and its imminent consequences and effects in very different areas of a society, such as education, criminal activity or the health system. The author even insinuates that the privilege of doing sports for the wealthier youth is based on a systematic tactic from the government and influential rich people level, because “despite everything we know about inequality, many of America’s most powerful seem committed to building a permanent underclass - people who are poorer, who die younger, who suffer more”. While the author herself was able to make a broad variety of experience with sports at a young age, she states that she never was a role athlete, but that this experience shaped her mindset in a very important way and this impression lasts until today. I agree with her opinion that sports at a young age definitely should be accessible for everyone, because “without a regular physical movement practice, I have no doubt that I would be far less happy, far less healthy, and far less socially adept”.

Luisa Cordoba

Filipovic states ”so, so glad I played” (paragraph 6). In making this comment, Filipovic urges us that, thanks to the opportunity that she was able to participate in different sports as a child, she developed skills that allowed her to create security in her essence as a person, that even she didn't have a chance to get in her schooling. On the other hand, as an adult she is not part of any important league team, however, she made physical activity a lifestyle that allows her to stay healthy and in good condition. I agree with Filipovic’s statement that ”it's not just that we are denying low income kids the chance to build healthy life long habits.its that we are consigning many of them to charter, less healthy, poorer lives.” In my personal experience the low incomes of my family wasn't an excuse to not participate in youth sports. This allowed me to develop skills and values that have shaped who I am today. In conclusion, playing youth sport is very important.


What does Jill Filipovic’s argument respond to? Where in her argument does she introduce a “they say”? Filipovic argues that the current system of youth sports leagues can create a class divide. Leaving the low income, children unable to have access to better coaches, and better teams. Leaving children not being able to develop certain skills and values. She introduces a "They Say" in the first paragraph stating "But this New York Times piece, which is well worth a read, lays out all of the ways in which sports are increasingly reserved for the wealthy, while the poor are shut out."


Involvement in youth sports is a very crucial part to the lives of developing children. It can help them develop skills such as cooperation, sportsmanship, dignified losing etc. There are also personal benefits, some of which include increased confidence, improvement in mental health and greater academic ability. However, all of these great opportunities are not available to all children and it is unfair that they don’t get to experience this. Only 31% of children with families at or below the poverty line have some sort of involvement in sports. For example, kids living in poverty are usually less active than more wealthy kids. This is due to the inequality that occurs in these youth sports. For instance, they are more catered to higher class families because in the lower class, the families are unable to afford the expensive lessons and equipment and they are not given this equal opportunity to participate. This only continues to deny poorer children the chance to build a healthy lifestyle and develop positive habits. And this will continue to worsen over time with constant school sponsored programs being taken away from them. Some schools have begun to cut physical education, and school sports because they simply don’t have enough of a budget. And this greatly affects the children in a negative way because the one thing they look forward to and don’t have to stress about paying for is now being taken away from them. And instead of there being more of an increase in projects and activities for the less fortunate, there has been a much higher increase in elite youth sports. This adds to the advantages that these wealthier children already have and gives them a higher chance at a better education and future. And this only continues to create that gap between these higher and lower classes. All of these factors then influence how successful these children will be and what career paths they might take. With them having experienced the lack of extracurriculars and other opportunities they are being set up for failure and will most likely continue to live the life they currently have without the desire to make a change.


Filipovic's main intent of this article was to inform the reader of the consequences of making youth sports expensive. The problem with this is that low-income families are not able to afford for their kids to play sports. She then focused on the advantages of youth sports and how they have many benefits. She uses examples from her own childhood, and how her involvement in sports has directly affected her physical and mental health. Similarly, she uses this information to emphasize how missing out on youth sports can have many detrimental effects. Some of these effects include obesity, mental health issues, lack of life skills, possibly a shortened life span, and many more. After reading this article it has made me realize what an influence sports have on my life. It has also made me want to make sports available to every child and to make sure that they can all have the same opportunities that I have had.


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Maximiliano L

I agree with Filipovic’s statement regarding opportunities in youth sports being hindered by financial costs. Youth sports should be an outlet for all children to have a platform to engage with their community while maintaining fitness. It should be a place where all children have the opportunity to exercise, socialize with those around them, and perform to the best of their ability in a semi-competitive environment. However, with the rising costs of youth sports,’ this is not the case. Physical activity for children should be promoted, rather than denied by the increasing costs of joining a sport. This is increasingly prevalent in the United States, as certain sports often require fees in order to play. For example, if your child desires to join a soccer club, you are often immediately “drowned” in various fees and costs. Whether it be transportation fees, jersey fees, or even the cost just to join, parents are often left under the burden of these expenses. For lower income families, paying these fees may be impossible, thus denying their child from playing the sport. No matter how talented a kid may be, they do not have a platform to thrive in, due to the financial barriers present in youth sports. Sports, especially at the youth age should be something that all kids are entitled to do. Cities should promote youth activity through these sports, rather than deterring families from them due to unnecessary fees. Children are being denied these opportunities to connect with other children their age while staying physically active. Filipovic highlights that there is no need to be the best in a sport to enjoy it, as many children enjoy the social aspect as well. The bonds that these children make during youth sports, and the lessons learned often stick with these children as they grow up. The denial of these experiences because of an income barrier is truly disappointing. All children should have the right to play youth sports if they choose, and should not be limited by fees and payments.

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