In 2015, Gilbert Arenas, a retired NBA player, who is known for having “no chill” made some very negative remarks about WNBA players. Arenas “recommended that the women dress like they are getting ready to go work at a strip club rather than play basketball to make the league more popular.”, which led me to the question of why women have to look a certain way to get a man’s attention, especially if they play the same sport. The WNBA released a statement about his remarks on the WNBA, in return, defending the players and clarifying that his statements were absolutely wrong.
Recently, Angel McCoughtry, WNBA player for the Atlanta Dream made a statement in an interview where she said “Pay us like you pay the men.”. She went into further detail on how she feels bad about having to go out of the country to get paid more for what she loves to do and wants a solution for the unequal pay situation that is still prevalent for women in professional sports. Also, she responded to negative comments on her Instagram page to speak for all women who feel how she does:
“So basically I have been getting a lot of negative messages lately all because I said I want to get paid more in my own country! In particular I’ve noticed most of the really mean-spirited comments have been coming from men who seem determined to compare us women athletes to our male counterparts. My question is why? Why invest so much hateful energy into knocking the female athlete? Clearly our bodies are not made the same and our games are different so why make the comparison? I wish they would judge us on our own merit, or if not at least judge us in the one area where our game and the men’s game is the same – That is when we go out there our main goal is to entertain! We live for the smiles and the roar of the crowd, we live to win, for ourselves and for our amazing fans! And sure we enjoy the fact that we’re paid to do it, wouldn’t you? Why hate on that? For all the people out there who were upset by me saying I wish I could get paid more I offer this…the next time you go to your boss and ask for a raise for the hard work you do I want you to picture me routing you on. Trust me I route for success, for me and for others. Why should we ever route against one another? As for the game I play, the game I love, if you don’t like it that’s cool but the negativity is so pointless. I honestly feel though that most people who slam the women’s game have never really given it a chance. I always tell people come try a game once, and if you don’t like it then I will refund your ticket myself. Trust me I haven’t had to refund a ticket yet! That being said if you want to get at me with a comment? How about suggesting constructive ways to help us make the game more entertaining? Instead of hurting why not help? Help me continue to help my teams win! Help me to grow my game’s popularity! Help me to continue to help my country win Gold 🥇 ! Help me to continue to be great !! Help ME to entertain YOU!!! Encourage don’t discourage!!”
Questions I have about this include reasons of why we’re still talking about gender equality in sports in 2018?
Why are women so unworthy of attention or equal pay to men in the same exact career field? Why should women have to look a certain way to gain attention from men? Why should men and women be against each other when support could just unite them? How can sports get more entertaining for both genders to gain equal attention? To what extent can women reach men to gather more support for women in the world of sports? Another interesting point I thought of was how come we rarely see players of the same sport but of different gender dating or hanging out? How can we solve this socioeconomic issue and bring both women and men in the same career field closer?