Not the misbegotten, WNBA
Not the misbegotten, WNBA
While the NBA is going into the finals, the WNBA is celebrating the 25th season, and while, for years they have been the butt of the conversation, but today we spark change.
Overall, women’s sports has never been afforded the same backing as men’s sports. Women have had to deal with being treated less than and not having access to the same things as men.
Here, we are getting their voices heard and their success seen.
Sequoia Austin, a former women’s college basketball player, says women have been silenced for years, she wants to make some noise and see change happen. We have a voice and we add so much to the game, it is only right that we start acknowledging our greatness.
As commentators and fans, we have to stand up for what we believe and for what is right. It is wrong to treat women as subpar athletes. I believe in fair wages and fair treatment, so as sports fans, we should want that across all platforms.
They have to play twice as hard and overwork themselves just to get half of the recognition.Those women are admirable for facing such hardships, like unfair wages, body shaming, lack of television coverage and recognition and they still want to keep playing because of their love for the game.
It is an honor to watch such athleticsim in these women; they play their hearts out every game.In the WNBA the average pay is $75,000 per year in comparison to the NBA’s $500,000 per year. The gap is unbelievable.
The wage gap isn’t the only problem, body shaming is another issue they face. While men are praised for having muscular bodies, women are made fun of. As for recognition and television coverage, this is something that is getting better.
According to Alphei.edu, ESPN began paying $25 million to show more WNBA games in 2016. Fans can make the biggest difference in sports. We are the audience and without us, they have nothing.
People are allowed to create the narrative. This is important because we are creating that narrative for future generations. If change can start now, the next generation has hope.
In March 2021, the NCAA was looked down upon by many for the differences between the men’s and women’s COVID-19 bubbles (even this article doesn’t mention anything about the women). There are many differences between the women’s and men’s NCAA tournaments such as the weight rooms, the meals, and the swag bags.
The world has become more tech savvy, and with the help of social media, it is becoming harder for ill-treatment to go under the radar. @AJ_McCord shared the pictures on her twitter account so fans were able to see the workout rooms, the meals and the swag bags . As a country, we have tried making strides to create equality for everyone, such as LGBTQ+ rights, so for the NCAA to subject the women to such ill-treatment is a slap in the face.
The NCAA has since sent out apologies and is also in the process of making changes.
The NCAA tournament alone is a great way for young women playing basketball to gain exposure and be afforded the opportunity to move to the next level.
When they are not given the same opportunities, the women feel less valued.
When the women’s team wins, they should be able to get upgraded locker rooms, better weight room equipment and more workout gear, just to name a few. Austin says, “I remember vividly thinking why did the men’s team get this [but] we won?” Us women want to change the inequality between women’s and men’s basketball.
As time goes on, we have seen changes. Back in 2009, the WNBA allowed women to start selling jerseys for revenue.
NBA players have also lended a helping hand in the process by wearing jerseys, supporting at the games, posting on social media and just being intentional about supporting the girls. Kobe Bryant was a great example of NBA players supporting women’s basketball, even on a smaller scale, by coaching his daughter’s team and getting them the exposure they need.
Another example of men supporting women in sports is Russel Wilson. He supported his sister as she played in the NCAA tournament and posted on social media about how proud he was. Let’s not wait until the person is close to us to start showing support, support all the women.
We need to support the women and let the big corporations know they can put money behind them. Austin mentions in her interview that one of the major issues for women is a lack of funding. There are a few things we can do to help.
What can we do to be the change, or for us to do better?
- Go support women’s sports in person
- Watch women’s sports at home
- Buy women’s sports paraphernalia and swagger.
- Interact on social media with the women’s teams
- When you see them doing well, acknowledge them. That can be as simple as tagging them in a post or writing an article about the great things you see.
Go out and support women’s sports!