More Trash Graphics in a WNBA Broadcast

More Trash Graphics in a WNBA Broadcast

By Tamryn Spruill Accurately naming the two teams playing against each other is as basic as it gets in terms of duties related to televising a basketball game. When it comes to coverage of the WNBA, however, the task apparently isn't so simple. On Sunday, a screen-sized graphic advertised a nonexistent contest between the Las Vegas Aces and the Indiana Fever. The Aces were hosting the Washington Mystics, not the Fever. Olympic gold medalists A'ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray (of the USA Basketball 5x5 team) and Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young (of the USA Basketball 3x3 team) reunited with Liz Cambage, Riquna Williams and the Aces' other difference-makers to force an 84-83 come-from-behind win. But, sadly, no matter what great things happen on the court, pedestrian mistakes such as listing the incorrect team on a graphic, mispronouncing players' names or bungling graphics featuring starting lineups are gallingly common in coverage of the WNBA. Multiple times during the 2021 season, starting...

Layshia Clarendon Leads the Fight in the War Being Waged on Transgender Americans

Layshia Clarendon Leads the Fight in the War Being Waged on Transgender Americans

By Evan Cooper Emerging as a force to be reckoned with against gender identity discrimination, Layshia Clarendon, the WNBA’s first openly trans and non-binary player, is “at the forefront of the league’s groundbreaking social justice efforts and is tasked with engaging community conversations, advocacy and education on important topics surrounding social justice.” For all of their grassroots efforts in challenging policy and culture around gender in sports, Clarendon has been nominated for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award. Yet, in the same breath that we celebrate the joy of gender euphoria for countless people challenging the gender binary, we must band together and fight the intentional harms caused to our transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming siblings.  There is no federal law that classifies transgender people as a protected class, requiring protections from very real discrimination and the dangers it provokes. We are left to our own resources to maneuver...

A’ja Wilson’s Self-mastery Defies Expectations Placed on Black Women and Professional Athletes

A’ja Wilson’s Self-mastery Defies Expectations Placed on Black Women and Professional Athletes

By Evan Cooper Curating a support system that holds her accountable and practicing self-discipline on and off the court, A’ja Wilson, the WNBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2020, is wise beyond her years and hungry to better herself and those around her. Before being selected as the No. 1 overall pick by the Las Vegas Aces in the 2018 WNBA Draft, Wilson blazed trails so wide at the University of South Carolina that a statue to honor her legacy was erected in January outside of Colonial Life Arena, where the Gamecocks play. In a recent sit-down interview with CBS News, Wilson discussed the great respect she has for her community, absorbing knowledge from WNBA trailblazers, understanding the value of collective effort (both professionally and politically) and investing in the younger generation. She knows the value of representation, as much as she did when she was a kid, and respects her role as an increasingly visible public figure. But her journey of self-mastery defies many of the...

2020 WNBA Jersey Sales Show Old Guard Is Finally Getting Its Due

2020 WNBA Jersey Sales Show Old Guard Is Finally Getting Its Due

By Tamryn Spruill Old guard WNBA players are finally get their due from mainstream media. But what about the younger class of women's basketball players not named Sabrina Ionescu? On Friday, the league announced before tipoff of Game 1 of the 2020 WNBA Finals that the orange WNBA logo hoodie in 2020 became the bestselling merchandise piece in the league’s history. The hoodie, popularized by the late Kobe Bryant, a fierce supporter of the league and a mentor to many of its players, is “the most popular item this season across official online retail partner Fanatics’ network of e-commerce sites, including WNBAStore.com,” according to a league statement. The signature item also has been embraced by NBA players like LeBron James and other celebrities. But when it comes to individual player jerseys, the old guard reigns supreme while younger players, with the exception of Ionescu, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, float beneath the radar. Former No. 1 picks from recent years...