The Player’s Tribune and New York Liberty players; Swin Cash, Tanisha Wright and Essence Carson talk about the different issues that the pro female league faces. They cover race, stereotypes, the need for diversity, inclusion and more. The WNBA has been around for the last 18 years but still faces it’s share of bigotry. It’s to be expected when you still have people like Donald Sterling who’s Racist comments made us evaluate racism in the NBA.
I for one don’t understand why people have a problem with the WNBA. These women are very skilled and only get better as each draft class enters the league. I’ve heard plenty of guys say, they don’t like the women’s game because they don’t dunk. Seriously? Dunking is only one part of the entire basketball experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of highflying dunking, alley-oops and Tomahawk throw downs. I’m also a fan of crisp passing, great shooting, and fundamentals like boxing out and setting great picks. I for one think this is a weak argument when you have, people like MPV winner Steph curry, who is known for his great shooting and not his dunking ability.
While I think the competition in the league continues to increase and it’s stars are starting to become household names; it’s the lack of national press and the NBA‘s full commitment that’s holding this league back. Just this past Friday, I turned on my favorite sports talk station but I was surprised to hear no one discussing the WNBA playoffs. Instead for five hours all I heard was, “Can the Giants recover from their week one debacle” and “who’s going to win the Subway series between the Yankees and the Mets?”. I guess you can tell I’m obviously from New York right? The NY Liberty currently holds the best record in the WNBA. As they kicked off the playoffs in the Garden, there was little to no discussion from the traditional sports news sources.
I would like to see the NBA invest more money into the WNBA. This money should be used to increase player salary, marketing and promotion. While the NBA does a good job of promoting the WNBA on NBA TV, they need to invest in a more grass roots social media approach, as well as a national TV campaign. Some other suggestions could be to increase the leagues number of teams from 12 to 20, increase the length of the season and change the playoff format to three rounds, best of five format where the eight best teams make the playoffs.
The one thing the WNBA has right is their league pass. You pay one price and can watch every game for the entire season, and you can go back to watch games that have been previously played. I only wished you could watch it on a TV and not just via the internet. This could easily be solved by adding an app to the Roku and Apple TV platforms. While the WNBA still faces it’s share of critics, having proper support of the NBA people will begin to see that they have been missing out on some amazing basketball.
Do you watch and support the WNBA? Why or why not? Leave your comments below. If you like this post please share it on your favorite social media platform.