Friday, January 21News That Matters

Tag: Women’s National Basketball Assn

What to Know About the Robert Sarver Racism and Sexism Allegations

What to Know About the Robert Sarver Racism and Sexism Allegations

Sports
Sarver and the Suns have also been the subject of critical reporting by ESPN before. In 2019, ESPN reported that the Suns had “no discernible direction” and described Sarver as an “interventionist owner with more authority than expertise.”What does the ESPN report say about racism?The report paints a picture of a meddlesome owner who fostered a work environment that was toxic, especially for women and Black people. The most prominent voice in the article was Earl Watson, who is Black and Hispanic and spent parts of four seasons in assistant, interim and head coaching roles with the Suns. He was fired in 2017, three games into his second season as head coach.According to the report, Watson told ESPN that Sarver came into the coaches’ locker room after one game “repeating the N-word several ...
Seimone Augustus Found Her Voice Long Before Coaching

Seimone Augustus Found Her Voice Long Before Coaching

Sports
The first time Seimone Augustus realized what she was capable of wasn’t when, as a 14-year-old, she landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women next to the question, “Is She the Next Michael Jordan?”When Augustus, a W.N.B.A. legend who retired this year after 15 seasons, reflects on the moments that made her understand her potential, she thinks of the stands at Capitol High School in Baton Rouge, La. She led the team to back-to-back state titles, scoring 3,600 points and losing just seven games in four years.The school is at the center of the predominantly Black neighborhood where she grew up, a neighborhood she described as close-knit and full of “a bunch of people that you would never know who helped make my game the way it is.” With each win, though, the crowds that gathered to ...
Breanna Stewart’s Golden Journey to Motherhood

Breanna Stewart’s Golden Journey to Motherhood

Sports
All the while, Stewart had to keep her focus on basketball, which proved particularly challenging in Tokyo. So long as the baby didn’t come early, birth would be induced just after the Games.Stewart said she had to compartmentalize as never before. “When it was game time at the Olympics, I focused fully on the game,” she said. “When I was off the court, I could think of Marta and the baby.”In keeping with her private nature, Stewart was quiet about Ruby to her fellow members of the U.S. national team. She told me that only her Storm teammates and close friends, Jewell Loyd and Sue Bird, knew what was going on behind the scenes. Bird is a founder of TOGETHXR, the media company for which Stewart filmed a documentary about her surrogacy journey.“I went from one emotion to the next,” Stewart s...
W.N.B.A. All-Stars Beat Olympians in Gold Medal Game of Their Own

W.N.B.A. All-Stars Beat Olympians in Gold Medal Game of Their Own

Sports
With her group of All-Stars huddled around and bouncing up and down, Team W.N.B.A. Coach Lisa Leslie urged the players to keep up their energy.“We’re about to make history,” Leslie, a Hall of Famer and four-time Olympic gold medalist, shouted. Then she added, “Rebound on three!” as they broke the huddle and made their way back toward the court.That excitement and urgency permeated the Team W.N.B.A. bench throughout the league’s All-Star Game in Las Vegas on Wednesday. Leslie and Tina Thompson, also a Hall of Famer, coached Team W.N.B.A. to a 93-85 defeat of Team U.S.A. in a high-energy matchup that felt more like a regular-season game than an exhibition.The participants carried a different mind-set into this game than in All-Star Games of the past, said Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury...
The Liberty’s Role in Making W.N.B.A. Players ‘Top Dogs’ of Activism

The Liberty’s Role in Making W.N.B.A. Players ‘Top Dogs’ of Activism

Sports
“He’s a year older than me, he’s 6’8,” strong — he could be seen as a threat,” Stokes said. “They asked, ‘Will you be OK with that?’ That just kind of hit home. He’s goofy, funny, just wants to joke and have fun, but in the eyes of someone else he could be really intimidating just because of his physical appearance and that’s something scary to think about.”Allen was raised in Melbourne, Australia, and an injury during her rookie season limited her time in the United States to about one month. The 2016 season was her second year in the league, and she mostly listened as Cash and other veterans like Tanisha Wright led locker room discussions about race in America.Later in July 2016, during a team meeting in Washington, Allen finally spoke up, which she now somewhat regrets.The Liberty were ...
The N.F.L.’s Carl Nassib Broke a Barrier. Will Others Follow?

The N.F.L.’s Carl Nassib Broke a Barrier. Will Others Follow?

Sports
Congratulatory posts flooded social media on Monday when Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib announced on Instagram that he is gay, becoming the first active N.F.L. player to do so.Jerseys and T-shirts bearing his name were the top sellers among all N.F.L. players on Monday, according to Fanatics, the league’s e-commerce partner. Stars like Giants running back Saquon Barkley — who played with Nassib at Penn State — and Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt quickly voiced their support for Nassib on Twitter. Well-known advocacy organizations praised his declaration as monumental.“I think people are going to see what I’ve seen for years, that sports are a lot more accepting than people give it credit for,” said Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of Outsports, a news website that cov...
After Helping Her Husband Gain Freedom, Maya Moore Savors Her Own

After Helping Her Husband Gain Freedom, Maya Moore Savors Her Own

Sports
When you speak with Maya Moore and her husband, Jonathan Irons, a single word comes up with drumbeat constancy.Freedom.“It’s everything to us,” Moore said during an interview last week.She wasn’t talking just about the fact that Irons is out of prison after serving 23 years for a crime he always insisted he did not commit. She was talking about how, after struggling to overturn his conviction, she has more time and energy to fight for criminal justice reform.“There is life we want to live, things we want to do, things we feel called to do together to help make our world a better place,” she said. “This sense of freedom is huge for both of us now.”Here’s the shorthand version of their journey — part love story, part against-the-odds battle to right a terrible wrong. Still in the prime of a ...
W.N.B.A. Preview: The Mystics Get Their Stars Back in the East

W.N.B.A. Preview: The Mystics Get Their Stars Back in the East

Sports
The W.N.B.A. begins its 25th season on Friday with the returns of some big-name veterans and the debuts of promising rookies.“Rosters are stacked with incredibly talented veterans, and the last few rookie classes are bringing a whole new element to the fierce competition within the league,” W.N.B.A. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told The New York Times.Below, our reporters tell you what to expect this season in the Eastern Conference. Washington MysticsBy Marisa IngemiThe Mystics are hoping to rebound from a forgettable 9-13 season, which they played without Elena Delle Donne, who won her second Most Valuable Player Award in 2019 as she led the team to a championship, and Natasha Cloud, who sat out to focus on social justice.This year, Delle Donne and Cloud are back and they will finally ge...
W.N.B.A. Braces for ‘Fierce Competition’ in New Season

W.N.B.A. Braces for ‘Fierce Competition’ in New Season

Sports
Buzzy rookies, reshuffled stars and new interest in women’s basketball after a thrilling N.C.A.A. tournament have positioned the W.N.B.A. to open its 25th season this week with a captive audience as it continues to lead in social justice efforts among professional sports leagues.Put it all together, W.N.B.A. Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told The New York Times, and “the future of the game is bright.”“Rosters are stacked with incredibly talented veterans, and the last few rookie classes are bringing a whole new element to the fierce competition within the league,” she said.Fresh off N.C.A.A. tournament highs and lows, Charli Collier, Kiana Williams and Aari McDonald are among a class of rookies who are set to make waves against longtime contenders like Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Candace ...
Chelsea Dungee Was Ready for Her W.N.B.A. (and Yacht?) Moment

Chelsea Dungee Was Ready for Her W.N.B.A. (and Yacht?) Moment

Sports
She went around the room, taking selfies with the teammates, coaches and fans. Arkansas, where she transferred after spending her freshman year at Oklahoma, was where she found her identity — a relentless shooter whose offensive creativity made her the leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference in the 2020-21 season, averaging 22.3 points per game. Then there’s her razor-sharp crossover, the move that she hopes will become her W.N.B.A. signature.“I think this system has absolutely been great for me,” Dungee said of Neighbors’ program. “It’s fast paced, there’s a lot of pick-and-rolls, a lot of screening actions, and you see that a lot in the W.N.B.A.”The draft night party served as a more fitting conclusion to her time with the Razorbacks than their last game, in which Arkansas became t...