Mike Francesa, a man who already has a tenuous grip on the world to start with, struggled to be coherent when a caller asked if he could one day see a woman coaching a men’s professional sports team.
Not only was Francesa incapable of imagining a woman coaching a team of men; he was also incapable of imagining why anyone would ever want that. An excerpt of the conversation:
CALLER: I’d like to someday in my lifetime see a female coach. I think—
CALLER: I just think it would be something that would be great to see one day.
FRANCESA: But why? I’m asking you why, but what would make that person qualified?
CALLER: I could see it happening in college. You know, great female college basketball coach becoming someday an NBA coach. Couldn’t you see that?
FRANCESA: [pause] How would she get to the NBA, though?
The caller does himself no favors by suggesting radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman could coach the New York Yankees, but Francesa doesn’t pursue the battles he could win. He wants to make the point that only former players should be coaches or managers. “You’re not going to start off as a head coach or a manager. ... Would you take someone who has no experience and make them the head coach?”
Of course not, but head coaches don’t just become head coaches. They start out as lower-level assistants, and as the caller points out, former WNBA player Becky Hammon has been a coach for the San Antonio Spurs since 2014. Francesa dismisses Hammon as essentially a PR stunt that was only notable because of Gregg Popovich’s popularity, even though it answers the radio host’s question of how a woman could get to the NBA.
Ultimately, Mike’s just looking out for the ladies. “Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to manage 25 men? It wouldn’t be tough, it’d be impossible!” Those poor women. “It really would be unfair.”