commentary + critique

from tamryn spruill

Sport

Rick Welts Career Retrospectives Omit the WNBA from His Resume

Rick Welts Career Retrospectives Omit the WNBA from His Resume

After long-time NBA executive Rick Welts announced his decision last week to step down as president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors, the career retrospectives poured in. It's too bad, however, that the normalized erasure of the WNBA runs so deep that the league, now in its 25th season -- and Welts' award-winning contributions to it -- were erased from the myriad articles detailing his career....
Monarchs Stay Undefeated in Sacramento

Monarchs Stay Undefeated in Sacramento

When Joe Maloof announced in November 2009 that his family would be surrendering ownership of the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs, he claimed to be "bummed" about the decision and told reporters that the move was necessitated by the ownership group's need to focus full-throttle on the NBA's Kings. "This is our team that won a championship," Maloof told Aileen Voisin of The Sacramento Bee. "We love the Monarchs. But all of our efforts have to be on getting the Kings back to where they once were, and that takes our full commitment." Love, Maloof-style, apparently means forsaking your lone winning franchise for a struggling one, leaving players, coaches, staff and Maloof Sports and Entertainment employees out of work. The real dagger in the hearts of the players was the timing....
An Exclusive Look into the WNBA’s 25th Anniversary Season

An Exclusive Look into the WNBA’s 25th Anniversary Season

Twenty-five years since its inaugural tipoff, the WNBA is still here: "impossible shot after impossible shot after impossible shot." In the runup to this historic season, the WNBA has provided The Hard Screen with a first look into the ways the league will pay homage to the past and WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert discusses how the 2021 season is an investment in the league's next 25. ...
The Unforgiveable Sins of Kelly Loeffler

The Unforgiveable Sins of Kelly Loeffler

Now that Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler has been voted out of the Senate seat she was never voted into in the first place, does this mean she returns to WNBA ownership as if nothing ever happened? ...
Without WNBA Players, There’d Be No Warnock vs. Loeffler Runoff in Georgia

Without WNBA Players, There’d Be No Warnock vs. Loeffler Runoff in Georgia

In advance of the Tuesday, Jan. 5, special election that will decide which senators represent the state of Georgia and which political party controls the U.S. Senate for the next four years, your friendly reminder that there would be no runoff election without the players of the WNBA, who kicked Atlanta Dream co-owner and Sen. Kelly Loeffler in her political ambitions by campaigning for her rival, Rev. Raphael Warnock. ...
Natasha Cloud: ‘We Are the Deciding People on Who Runs Our Country’

Natasha Cloud: ‘We Are the Deciding People on Who Runs Our Country’

Ahead of the November 3rd presidential election, WNBA champion Natasha Cloud is urging all people to vote, especially Black and brown people who historically have been disenfranchised from the electoral process. In a wide-ranging interview with Tamryn Spruill, Cloud also discussed the need for police reform, the Breonna Taylor case in the context of voting, the Trump supporters in her family and why she is voting for Joe Biden. ...
Natasha Cloud: ‘Vote Like Your Life Depends on It’

Natasha Cloud: ‘Vote Like Your Life Depends on It’

"Vote like your life depends on it," says Natasha Cloud, starting guard for the 2019 WNBA champion Washington Mystics. With the 2020 presidential election just two weeks away, The Hard Screen brings you an election special that includes interviews with Cloud and Renee Montgomery, a two-time WNBA title-winner, who both opted out of the 2020 season to focus on social initiatives that emphasized voting. We also break down why it is so difficult for some voters to cast their ballots this year and review what individual WNBA teams have done to encourage voting in their respective cities. ...
ICYMI: Why America Doesn’t Deserve Sports Right Now

ICYMI: Why America Doesn’t Deserve Sports Right Now

Originally published in "The Hard Screen Newsletter" in June 2020, "Why America Doesn't Deserve Sports Right Now" delves into the historic and systemic racial injustice, police brutality and inequality Black Americans face in the United States that has necessitated athletes and other public figures use their platforms to spur social change. ...