From breaking glass ceilings to breaking viewership records, here’s a timeline of the top women’s sports moments of 2020
- 2020 has been an unprecedented year on many fronts, and women's sports are no exception.
- From the Marlins' Kim Ng and the 49ers' Katie Sowers to Vanderbilt's Sarah Fuller and Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, women in sports shattered glass ceilings and achieved countless firsts this year.
- The NWSL made history as the first league back during the pandemic, the WNBA made waves through its social justice initiatives, and both leagues excelled in viewership metrics.
- Breanna Stewart, Sophia Popov, and Tiana Mangakahia enjoyed epic and heartwarming comebacks, and many athletes reached major milestones in their sports.
- Check out Insider's timeline of 2020's top moments in women's sports below:
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
January 14: The WNBA and WNBPA reach agreement on a new CBA that increases player salaries, ensures maternity leave, and improves marketing and travel for the league
Read more: The WNBA has a new CBA that increases player salaries, ensures maternity leave, and improves marketing and travel for the league
January 16: San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken becomes the first female to join an MLB coaching staff in league history
Read more: The first female coach in MLB history didn't realize she had been interviewing for the job for a month before the Giants offered it to her
January 29: Canada's Christine Sinclair becomes the worldwide all-time leading scorer among men and women with her 185th international goal
February 2: Carli Lloyd kicks a field goal in Super Bowl commercial
Read more: Carli Lloyd kicks a field goal in Super Bowl commercial, and the message goes beyond just her NFL dreams
February 2: San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers becomes the first woman — and first out LGBTQ individual — to coach during the Super Bowl
February 24: Sabrina Ionescu makes history as the first college player — man or woman — to accrue 2,000 points, 1,000 assists, and 1,000 rebounds in her career mere hours after eulogizing Kobe and Gigi Bryant
Read more: Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu — who had a close relationship with Kobe and Gigi Bryant — made NCAA history hours after eulogizing her mentor and mentee
March 21: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird make the most of COVID-19 quarantine by starting Instagram Live series "A Touch More"
Read more: Megan Rapinoe said Vladimir Putin 'seems pretty gay' and is 'basically a drag queen' in a booze-fueled, 4-hour Instagram Live with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and Penny Taylor
June 27: The NWSL became the first professional domestic contact sports league to return to action after the COVID-19 pandemic with the start of the 2020 Challenge Cup
Read more: Sorry, MLS, the NWSL is actually the first professional contact sports league to return in the US
July 1: WNBA superstar Maya Moore reunites with Jonathan Irons after pausing her basketball career to help overturn his wrongful conviction
Read more: WNBA superstar Maya Moore reunites with Jonathan Irons in an emotional video after she fought to have his wrongful conviction overturned
July 21: Alyssa Nakken becomes the first woman to coach on the field during an MLB game
July 21: The NWSL announces that Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, and more than a dozen women's soccer icons have joined a star-studded ownership group for a league expansion team in LA
Read more: Natalie Portman, Serena Williams, and more than a dozen women's soccer icons are part of a star-studded ownership group for NWSL expansion team in LA
July 26: The underdog Houston Dash win the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup
August 4: WNBA players openly endorse Rev. Raphael Warnock in Georgia's Senate race to rebel against Kelly Loeffler, a co-owner of the Atlanta Dream
Read more: WNBA stars are openly endorsing Kelly Loeffler's opponent in her Georgia Senate race despite her ownership stake in one of the league's teams
August 21: WNBA legend Diana Taurasi told referees "I'll see you in the lobby later" in response to a foul call she didn't like
Read more: WNBA legend Diana Taurasi told referees 'I'll see you in the lobby later' in response to a foul call she didn't like
August 23: 304th-ranked Sophia Popov wins AIG Women's British Open after losing tour card, battling Lyme disease, and nearly quitting professional golf
August 23: Diana Taurasi dropped 34 points on Kobe Bryant's birthday while wearing the late legend's name and number
Read more: WNBA legend Diana Taurasi had her most impressive game in years on Kobe Bryant's birthday while wearing his name and number
September 9: NWSL and Japan national team star Yuki Nagasato becomes the first female soccer star to play professionally with a men's club
Read more: A women's World Cup champion is set to make history as the first female soccer star to play professionally with a men's club
September 10: Victoria Azarenka caps historic post-motherhood career resurgence by besting Serena Williams in the US Open semifinal
Read more: Victoria Azarenka was so focused on beating Serena Williams in the US Open that she didn't flinch when a fly walked across her face
September 12: Naomi Osaka wins the US Open after wearing masks honoring victims of police brutality while taking the court for each of her seven matches
Read more: Naomi Osaka said she cried watching messages of thanks from the parents of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery after her latest US Open win
September 16: Phoenix Mercury's Shey Peddy nails a buzzer-beating three to eliminate the Washington Mystics from the WNBA playoffs just weeks after the team cut her
Read more: Mercury guard Shey Peddy nailed a buzzer-beating 3 pointer to eliminate the team that cut her midseason from the WNBA playoffs
October 1: Legendary point guard Sue Bird sets WNBA single-game playoffs record with 16 assists in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals
Read more: Sue Bird said her legacy is 'already written' and described her last 2 WNBA championships as bonuses because she's playing 'on borrowed time'
October 5: Manchester United jerseys for USWNT stars Tobin Heath and Christen Press outsold all of the players on the men's side
Read more: Manchester United jerseys for 2 American women's soccer stars outsold all of the players on the men's side
October 6: Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart completes epic comeback by earning WNBA Finals MVP honors just 18 months after tearing her Achilles
Read more: 18 months after an Achilles tear, Breanna Stewart dominated the Aces, won Finals MVP, then drank celebratory champagne during her media call
October 6: WNBA successfully completes 2020 season without a COVID-19 outbreak thanks to "Wubble" in Bradenton, Florida
Read more: How the masterminds behind the WNBA's bubble successfully avoided an outbreak in the heart of a COVID-19 hotspot
October 8: Future USWNT star Catarina Macario earns her first national team call up and becomes a US citizen on the same day
Read more: A budding USWNT star credited the American dream after earning her first national team call up and becoming a US citizen in the same day
October 16: NWSL ratings were reported to have increased 493% year-over-year
Read more: TV ratings for North America's top women's soccer league are up a whopping 493%. Here's how they succeeded as other sports are losing viewers.
October 30: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe announce their engagement
Read more: Megan Rapinoe and WNBA legend Sue Bird are engaged after the pinked-haired USWNT star popped the question in Antigua
November 13: Kim Ng becomes the first female general manager in MLB history
Read more: Baseball has its first female GM in the Marlins' Kim Ng. For her and major men's professional sports, it's been a long time coming.
November 18: Diana Taurasi made a surprise NBA Draft appearance, subtly promoting the WNBA on one of basketball's biggest stages
Read more: The NBA Draft included a surprise appearance by hoops legend Diana Taurasi during one of its biggest moments and it helped validate the WNBA
November 27: Kristie Mewis scores and plays alongside sister, Sam, in first USWNT appearance in 6 years
Read more: Kristie Mewis scored during her first USWNT appearance in 6 years, and her younger sister was the first player to hug her in celebration
November 27: Former kindergarten teammates Sophia Smith and Jaelin Howell earn first USWNT caps on the same day
Read more: Former kindergarten teammates Sophia Smith and Jaelin Howell debuted for the US Women's National Team on the same day
November 28: Sarah Fuller becomes the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game
Read more: Sarah Fuller said haters can 'talk crap all they want' about her historic stint with Vanderbilt football team
November 29: Syracuse basketball star Tiana Mangakahia returns to the court after breast cancer, chemotherapy, and a double mastectomy derailed her senior season
Read more: A Syracuse basketball star is back on the court after breast cancer, chemo, and a double mastectomy derailed her senior season
December 1: USWNT players secure similar resources and accommodations as the men's team through a settlement with US Soccer Federation
Read more: Agreement will give US Women's National Team access to similar resources as the men's team, but they are still fighting for equal pay
December 12: Sarah Fuller becomes the first woman to score in a Power 5 college football game
Read more: Sarah Fuller said the decision to have her kick for Vanderbilt's football team 'wasn't because I was a girl'
December 13: Stanford Cardinal star Fran Belibi becomes the first DI women's college basketball player to dunk in a game since 2013
Read more: One of women's college basketball's brightest stars threw down a mid-game dunk against her team's top rivals
December 14: Sports Business Journal names the WNBA's iconic orange hoodie the best fashion statement of 2020
Source: Sports Business Journal
December 30: Becky Hammon becomes the first woman head coach in NBA history after Gregg Popovich was ejected early in a Spurs game against the Lakers
Now check out Insider's 50 best soccer players in the world in 2020:
The 50 best soccer players in the world in 2020
Source: Read Full Article