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Sick and Tired

Posted by Alex W.C. on 8:18 PM
Wouldn’t you know it? The day my summer break starts and I get sick. Not just a little cold sick…no…full blown body aching, fever (not Indiana *chortle*) cough and stuck in bed sick. UG! If it is the one thing I hate most is being sick. You really have no control over the virus that has got you, and you just have to let it run it’s course. Oh well. Got plenty of zinc and vitamin C, plus, lots of tea and cranberry juice. Monday was hell, but today has been better. Funny thing is, I am kind of glad this happened now. I know it sounds weird, but originally, I had planned my trip to start on June 8th – that is – until they announced the all star game. That caused me to revamp my entire trip, and the start date was moved to June 28th . I can just imagine trying to leave on June 8th, to begin the experience of a lifetime feeling the way I do. That would be a downer.

Speaking of downers…

Being sick reminded me of just how sick I am...for another reason. Mind you, I knew that even before I started my journey, I would get some negative reactions and posts from the WNBA haters out there. I’ve seen them on you tube and facebook. I tend to ignore them, as I think paying them attention is a waste of my time. But over the last few weeks they seemed to build, to a point where I just could not take it anymore. Why people take so much time to express negative and hateful words I will never know. But the sad thing is, it is nothing new. Every condescending, ignorant remark that I read follows the same tired, old pattern. See if you can follow me...

It starts with what I like to call the “automatic discount” - the devaluing of female athletes simply because of their gender. Never mind their skills, determination or love of the game. Ignore the fact that many of these athletes play year round, achieve multiple championship titles, and gold medals. No, all of this goes out the window simply because of one thing; they're female. It is so hard to believe that we live in the year 2009 and the opinion of female athletes still viewed as such.

This is followed by low-brow and low-class statements that can only be referred to as the “double-standard”. One comment I read said that, “ I am not going to watch a game where all there is are turnovers, shots clanking of the front of the rim and bad passes”. Oh, silly me, I forgot, the athletes in the NBA make every shot, and commit absolutely no turnovers and nothing but the perfect of passes. Sorry to let you down, but the athletes in the NBA and the WNBA are not perfect. Those kinds of things happen in both leagues. That does not mean one is better than the other, or worse than the other. And why does the double standard exist? See “automatic discount.”

The last and surely not least are the collection of narrow minded stereotypes that people tend to slap on the WNBA without a second thought. I saw one of them in a comment to one of the videos I posted on you tube, which read, “The only real "fans" that come are feminists.” Hmm, I’ve not seen Gloria Steinem at a game recently, but still, I disagree. The season ticket holder that sat next to me in the 2008 season was a father of a teenage son and daughter, which he brought to the games on a regular basis. Something tells me he was not one of the supporters of the feminist movement.

One of the things that hit me the most though, was not the comments on you tube or facebook; but an article in the L.A. Times, by a female writer, a former athlete, who wrote why she is not a fan of the WNBA. One statement she made I felt was a smack across the face, “Another reason the WNBA is underappreciated is the lack of male interest in the game.” Oh, because guys don’t like it, no one will? Does this woman believe that about everything in life? That only a man’s interest in something will give it value? Hello, 1952 called, they want their chauvinist ideals back! Not to let it slide, my girl D.T. #3 wrote a very intelligent response. This is why I love the WNBA: No one just sits back and takes the abuse, especially Diana Taurasi.

It boils down to this; The WNBA haters will not break us. There is one thing that the athletes and the fans of the WNBA share, and that is resilience. Since 1972 and the passage of title 9 (and even prior), female athletes and their fans have been fighting an uphill battle for acceptance. Still, in 2009, that battle continues. But, year after year, women’s sports continue to thrive in the face of adversity. This year marks the 13th year of the WNBA, the longest running and most successful professional league for female basketball players.

…and it’s only going to get better.

The WNBA – know it, live it, love it!

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