Is it racist to not like women’s basketball?
To start this story we have to go back to a column soccer star Megan Rapinoe published in the Players’ Tribune on Oct. 5.
“When it comes to U.S. women’s soccer, the general perception is that — let’s face it — we’re the white girls next door. The straight, ‘cute,’ ‘unthreatening,’ ‘suburban’ white girls next door. It’s not actually who we are … But by and large, that’s the perception. And it’s certainly how we’re marketed to a lot of people … I guess I just have to wonder, when I see the millions of viewers we’re getting, and the shine on SportsCenter, and the talk show appearances and the endorsement deals and all of that. … Where’s that same energy for the best women’s basketball players on the planet?? Where’s that energy for the women’s sports that — instead of scanning cute and white and straight — scan tall and black and queer??”
The day after that column was published, Rapinoe’s girlfriend Sue Bird won the WNBA championship with the Seattle Storm.
This weekend, Sue Bird reiterated Rapinoe’s comments in a CNN interview saying, “The problem is how society and how the outside world is willing to accept the cute girl next door, but not willing to accept or embrace … these basketball players who are tall, black, and gay.”
What do KIRO Radio hosts think?
Tom Tangney argued it’s not fair to compare the audience size of a regional team like the Storm to the Women’s National Team saying, “I don’t know that women’s soccer leagues like the [OL] Reign draw better than the Seattle Storm … I don’t know that that comparison is comparable.”
Dave Boze argued, “To me, people go to sports for an escape … I always associate women’s basketball with politics and cause, rather than it just being a sport.”
Gee and Ursula spoke to 710 ESPN’s Stacy Rost. She identified the main problem as the fact that women’s sports are still judged through a male lens.
“I think that you change it by changing the way we view and accept women,” she said.
John Curley talked about his personal history with the Storm saying, “You get in with the culture of the Seattle Storm, you’re a part of it, you’re swept up in it. The color and the gender … none of that matters one iota.”