There is no secret there is misogyny in sports.
When the NFL Draft began last night, many fans were decked out in their favorite teams’ jerseys as they sat or stood in front of their TVs and cheered or booed at their teams’ first-round picks. Fans and media members were passionate about what they deemed as the first “real live sporting event” since professional sports were shut down indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adam Schefter, ESPN’s NFL insider, was one of the loudest voices completely oblivious to what has been going on in the sports realm in which he is a prominent voice, tweeting:
“For the first time in what feels like forever, a real live sporting event.”
Little did he realize that the WNBA — the largest women’s sports league in the country — held its own virtual 2020 draft a week ago. For those young women — just like the young men in the NFL Draft — that was the biggest night of their lives.
The sheer lack of acknowledgment is what these women and many women in this country go through on a daily basis.
Shefter came back hours later to apologize but the point was already proven that he hadn’t even looked or acknowledged that there had been other sporting events that didn’t center around testosterone.
Even without adequate recognition, the WNBA Draft brought in a six-year high in its ratings averaging 387,000 viewers on ESPN, up 59% from last year according to ESPN.
The WNBA Draft had more bells and whistles than usual, delivering a beautiful tribute and honorary draft selection for three precious lives lost on Jan. 26 in the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash.
I guess the NFL male bubble closed itself off from the sports world for the past two months and didn’t see Gianna Bryant, Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester’s families speak about their ultimate dream of playing in the WNBA.
Sadly this isn’t a shock to anyone that women can exist in this world and compete on the highest stage, just like the men, and still not receive their due.
With a new CBA and higher viewership ratings, let’s hope these ladies get the respect they deserve.