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President Obama scorns gender stereotypes, gives athletic equipment to girls for Christmas

Mo’ne Davis proves sporting equipment is more than suitable to give a girl for Christmas. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

A video showing President Obama sorting toys for the Toys for Tots charity earlier this month went viral this week after he was caught on tape decrying gender stereotypes and giving girls sporting equipment.

“You know what?” Obama says while deciding whether to place a basketball in a box for girls toys or boys. “I want to make sure some girls play some ball.”

Later in the video, Obama declares: “Girls play T-ball, too,” before placing sporting equipment in a box for little girls. “I’m just trying to break down these gender stereotypes.”

If there’s any year to defy gender norms, it’s 2014. Don’t forget, this was the year of Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year-old Little League star who became the first girl to pitch a no-hitter. The Philadelphia honor roll student also became the first Little League player to land a Sports Illustrated cover.

Davis wasn’t the only woman to make history this year in a traditionally male-dominated sport. Kaillie Humphries and Elana Meyers-Taylor made bobsled history this year by becoming the first women ever to medal in an international four-man, er, make that four-person bobsled race in November.

Women also competed for the first time in 2014 in Olympic ski jumping. The event was a rousing success.

But one of the biggest moments for women in sports in 2014 came on the bench, when the San Antonio Spurs named retired WNBA standout Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.

“Obviously, this is a big deal. The bigger deal is I feel like there’s been greater pioneers to even get to this point,” Hammon told reporters when asked how she felt about being the first full-time, regular-season assistant coach hire in the NBA. “I hope little girls can say, ‘Hey look! People can do whatever they put their mind to.’ ”

That’s why a little girl deserves a basketball for Christmas just as much as a little boy.

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