Have The NBA And WNBA Done Enough For Equality In Sports? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com
During the same week the WNBA released its 25th Anniversary “Count It” logo, how the NCAA treats women college basketball players differently than men became the talk of the sports world. So as the NBA and WNBA try to celebrate equal opportunity among genders, female college athletes are still living in the stone ages. However, while it would be easy to condemn the NCAA for being cavemen, my question is simple: Where has the NBA and WNBA been for the last 25 years? Because this can’t really be the first time the pro leagues have heard about how colleges mistreat their female players, can it?
For months last year the NBA helped carry the flag of the Black Lives Matter, with those who tried to use the phrase “All Lives Matter” criticized for not understanding the cause being touted. Now, it appears, it was the NBA who was out of touch with how athletes in their own sister league were being treated. At best, they didn’t ask, and at worse, they knew and did nothing to change it.
I give the late NBA commissioner David Stern and the league credit for forming the WNBA a quarter century ago. He had the foresight to see where basketball was going and was ahead of the curve when it came to giving women basketball players a place to turn pro after college. Where he and the NBA failed their female players, however, is when they didn’t listen to the calls for gender equality that women in many sports haven’t had over those 25 years.
It is unfathomable for me to believe that any WNBA players entered the league and didn’t share their college hardships with teammates or team executives. This means that their employers must have known how bad things were for the female student-athletes; it also means that those with the podium to help bring about change never did so. Thus, making their calls for change in 2020, decades too late for them to claim the high ground in the fight for gender or race equality.
Change is painful for the status quo and is difficult to bring about when those who have the power to bring it about fail those who they should be looking out for. This is not a call for NBA players to do anything more than they are comfortable doing; although I would say that with the recent news about female student-athletes and Anti-Asian American hate crimes, to NOT hear the voices of pro basketball players would be a disappointment. What I am saying is that the NBA, led by their very progressive commissioner Adam Silver, MUST shine a light on the problems facing women’s sports.
In the end, sports need to be more than just a logo, but a leader in the call for change, not with words, but with their actions … something for the last 25 years the NBA and the WNBA have failed women in doing. However, now have the chance to make up for lost ground in the fight for gender equality.
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Have The NBA And WNBA Done Enough For Equality In Sports? | TooAthletic.com
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