The WNBA: Another liberal feminist program

By Bob Wilson

Having reserved my opinion regarding the WNBA, partly out of a sense of fairness and partly to avoid the blood letting involved in challenging the "politically correct" elitist social nazis who demagogue feminist issues, I can no longer refrain from speaking the truth on the subject. I have tried hard to watch the games, and I seriously want them to be entertaining, exciting athletic competitions with viewer appeal (as I believe womenís golf and tennis are.) Accepting that I certainly will be attacked as a sexist, I must point out that the WNBA is simply not entertaining enough to survive independently as a pro sport. The WNBA is to the NBA as the Special Olympics is to the Olympics.

Itís not because the WNBA is not hyped as no other "sporting" event ever before. The truth is, to the overwhelmingly male majority of sports fans in the U.S., ladies pro basketball is boring. Shooting statistics like 1 for 16 may occasionally occur in menís pro basketball, but are common in the WNBA. The teams have the best women basketball players the league could scrape together from all over the world. They can dribble, run, scramble, guard, and show tenacity of effort. (Notice the absence of the word "jump.") Unfortunately, the "J" word is essential in basketball. The game they play bears only superficial resemblance to basketball as it is played by men, even at the larger high school level. This fact is born out by simply suffering through the shooting and scoring statistics of any of the games.

Give most any small town boys high school basketball team expensive production values (pyrotechnics, light shows, the Sunís Gorilla, and the Dallas Cowboyís cheerleaders) to distract from mediocre play, and you have equivalent entertainment. The media and special interest social/political entities are asking us to pretend that this is not the case. Wildly erroneous attendance reporting, coupled with unprecedented hype to "cook up" fan interest has just about run its course with most serious sports fans in the country. The scores and game reporting is perhaps better placed on the political page of the newspaper rather than the sports page. It seems the people involved are (rightfully) afraid to report the facts, for fear that reality will cause a "snowball effect" of fan indifference. Examples of this deception include the TV coverage in arenas which have a total capacity of around 17,000. The entire upper levels are closed and blacked out, and the lower levels are, at best, three quarters full, yet commentators refer to "sold out" attendance, and "14,000 fans here."

Essential to any "professional sport" is that the athletes (and infrastructure support people) are paid for from money generated by the sale of the events as entertainment. Unlike the Title IX, tax supported womenís college sports programs, (the case for which is made because of the tax money involved in supporting colleges) pro sports is a business which must generate profits.

Gender fascists, try to understand, I would love it if the WNBA truly lived up to all the hype. While women can, and do, play many sports on the true "professional" level, basketball, baseball, hockey, football, and maybe soccer, played by male athletes, remain, (in spite of all the hype, sensitivity, and political correctness you care to bestow) sports which generate enough fan support to sell advertising and create profits for the organizers. The fact is, without funds siphoned from increased prices at male sporting events, or government (tax) money, the WNBA is doomed to failure as a true "professional" sport. Letís drop the pretense that the WNBA is something it is not.

Should the sports entertainment consumer be forced to pay a political "surcharge" when we go to a male sporting event, in order to have "Affirmative Action" sports program like the WNBA? Not in a free market. If those who insist on propping up the WNBA are to prevail, then it belongs on tax supported "public" TV, along with the documentaries about Greenpeace, the life cycle of the moth, and global warming. As such, the WNBA is more appropriately a project for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Bob Wilson is an Arizona businessman and pilot who writes regularly for The Ethical Spectacle.