It’s a nice story in today’s LA Times: examples of why sports matter. A behavior therapist with a learning disability, a blind baseball fan and a high school football player are profiled.
But what’s missing from this piece? The female sports fan.
I’m not going to guess as to why the LAT didn’t include us, but they aren’t known at all for covering women’s sports. So it’s not surprising that they missed the boat in talking to some of the many, many female sports fans in the US, and writing a piece to which more people could relate.
If they had talked to the thirty-something ballers who play in the Say No Classic and The League over the summer here in Los Angeles, they would have got some great stories. Many of them are former Division I players, and sports still very much matters in their lives.
How about talking to some of the gray-haired Sparks season ticket holders – most of whom started coming to games in the first place just because they were so thrilled that there was finally a women’s pro league?
They could have even talked to me. Running and the serotonin it produces has saved my life so many times, I can’t even count. Basketball coaches and players have inspired and shaped my life beyond my wildest dreams.
It’s really unfortunate that women aren’t a part of this LAT story. We need as many visible examples as possible to represent females.
Case in point: a week ago, Sparks Coach Joe Bryant reportedly made a comment to Storm media before the two teams matched up. He said that Sparks forward Candace Parker should “step up and take over the game” like Laker Kobe Bryant.
All incredulity that he would name his own son aside, I look forward to the day when female ballers aren’t compared to male ballers anymore. Sure, sure, boys came first. But enough great women have been in the game long enough where comparisons to the men aren’t necessary anymore.
“Candace Parker should take over the game like Cynthia Cooper used to” would work. Others: “be clutch like Sue Bird,” “triple-dub like Tina Charles,” “throw up three-point daggers like Lindsay Whalen.”
Nor is it a safe assumption that WNBA fans watch NBA games. The many, many fans I know in both Seattle and Los Angeles don’t watch the men’s league.
Speaking of amazing examples, you can buy a “We back Pat” T-shirt to show your support for Coach Pat Summitt. A portion of the sales will go towards Alzheimer’s research.