BLACK VOICES

Here’s Why You Should Be Paying Attention To The WNBA

“How is it a great time to be a female athlete if you pick and choose who you leave out?"

WNBA players don’t get the respect they deserve -- and they're speaking up about it. 

Three players from the New York Liberty, Swin Cash, Tanisha Wright and Essence Carson spoke with The Player's Tribune about their experiences in the league, including dealing with negative stereotypes and sexist attitudes. 

“More talents coming in but the recognition, the visibility the care of respecting the game, of what we do, I think that’s something we have to start looking at -- not just the fanbase but also on the media side,” Cash said in the video.

The three athletes discuss parts of their transition from being on premiere college teams to joining a professional league, saying it felt like they went from celebrities to being barely noticed. 

“Moving up to the WNBA where you would expect a lot of media coverage, a lot of visibility, you would think that you would have more exposure, people would know who you are," Carson said. "It’s not like that at all.”

With more female athletes like Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey dominating headlines, the three women wonder why that celebration of women in sports hasn't come to the WNBA yet.  

“How is it a great time to be a female athlete if you pick and choose who you leave out?" Carson asks, wondering if it's because the majority of the WNBA is African-American.

“I am all for women... not just a few and not just the ones that look pretty on camera because we all play a vital role in what our society’s gonna be shaped as," Cash said. "We have young girls that play this game, black, white, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, it doesn’t matter… But if we don’t start showing them that we care about all women, and not just some women, we’re gonna have a problem on our hands."

The players also point out how frequent (and absurd) it is that Joe Schmo at the local YMCA underestimates how talented WNBA players are and challenge them to a one-on-one. 

"You’re tripping," Carson said in response to those men. "I'm a professional athlete. I do this for a living."

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