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4 Reasons it’s OK to Admit the WNBA is a Failure
What do the XFL and WNBA have in common? Both surprised as they came [relatively] strong out of the gate in their inaugural season only to end up losing butt loads of money by its end. What do the XFL and WNBA not have in common? When the XFL tanked, no one was worried it would strike a devastating blow to gender equality that trumps massive financial losses, and thus was allowed to do what things that tank do: fade away.
But the XFL was a football league, which is a boys sport. Well...
4) Soccer? No, thanks.
The Women's United Soccer Association was the first professional soccer league in the world for women, and it began after the American women won the 1999 World Cup Championship and took home the gold in the 2000 Olympics. Women like Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain were terrific role models and loved by the sponsors, but no one cared! And that's okay. The rest of the world may love soccer, but that's only because it's their culture, and because in Europe you need to know who your "football" rivals are, otherwise you might kill the wrong person during a routine post-match riot.
In truth, if you're not culturally invested, soccer's as boring to watch as baseball.* The WUSA lost $100 million, which would've been okay, except the WUSA's male counterpart didn't have a commissioner eager to fit the bill (or a league that could afford to do so). And no one thought, "well, that proves it- women can't play sports. Cancel women's college softball."
*Note: the author loves baseball and has a brother who plays professionally, but he can admit when something's boring.
3) Failure, People, is [Apparently] Not an Option
Is what Captain Keyes said in HALO, the game that launched the Xbox to prominence. But Captain Keyes was fighting a technologically superior alien race bent on destroying all sentient life in a 25 light-year radius (because they're stupid). According to several reports- many of which contradict one another- the Women's National Basketball Association is under threat from less than one alien life form, which it may or may not be able to handle depending on whose reports you believe. The International Alliance of Men Hell-bent on Sending Women Back to the Kitchen, or IAMHSWBK, not only believes the WNBA can't handle this alien threat- they're praying that's the case so they don't have to deal with the fact that they're sexist morons who have to enslave an entire gender to get a date. They also don't have any members outside of Saudi Arabia and tend to focus their efforts on making sure it stays illegal for women to drive. They're also fictional, if that's relevant.
In fact, many professional sports leagues not only don't have to fear an alien extermination (yet), but when they lose tons of money and can't find anyone who gives a crap about them, they go away. Perhaps the evils of capitalism are to blame for the dissolution of sports leagues that flush millions down the toilet (that would certainly explain why the Soviets fought so hard during the Cold War), but until Americans stop ignoring things they don't care about, those things are going to be taken from them. They won't notice, but that doesn't mean it won't have happened.
Non-sarcastic truth: Failure has occurred with the WNBA, but apparently it's not an option. Dozens of professional sports leagues have failed; some never even got far enough to play a single game. The USFL, a football league in which Donald Trump owned a team (New Jersey Generals), lost $163 million from 1983 to 85. Now THAT is how you flop!
2) Women Have the Right to Play Sports!!
At the professional level on someone else's dime? What does that have to do with women being allowed to play sports?
Every women's college sport loses money. In fact, every college sport loses money outside of football and men's basketball, and even those two aren't guaranteed to turn a profit. In one year, women's basketball at the 53 public schools in the 6 largest conferences had operating losses of $110 million.
But that's okay because, as Susan Herbst, the first female president of UConn says, "what women learn from sports, including fighting back after defeat, can't be accounted for in a financial statement and will help long after college."
That is GREAT news for the tiny fraction of women- and men- who get to play a sport at the college level! And that tiny fraction of superior athletes who make the cut includes everyone, right? Well that's good, because that means the lost $110 million was spent on making sure everyone in college got a chance to play a sport in the NCAA. That probably sucked for the students who don't like sports, but who doesn't like sports? All women do, as evidenced by the fact that many people can name several of their female friends who enjoy playing sports. Although, that does beg the question why you need to have 11 girls on your co-ed intramural team in hopes of getting at least 3 to show up so you avoid a forfeit, but what are intramurals? Club sports? Adult recreational leagues at cities in parks throughout the country that are completely non-exclusive and guarantee equal playing time regardless of skill?! What're those??
No, sir- if colleges aren't forced to finance enough women's NCAA teams in order to meet Title IX requirements, women will never get the chance to play sports after high school (unless they remember to sign up for intramurals or club sports), and that is completely unacceptable! What is this, Saudi Arabia?!
Non-sarcastic truth: millions of students graduate from college in America without ever getting to play a single second in an NCAA sporting contest. Millions of students don't get to play in high school, either. But everyone who signs up for intramurals can play if they'd like; some colleges even have enough interested girls to have a separate women's league.
And everyone who signs up for an adult league in their town or city also gets the opportunity to continue playing. Especially if you're female, because team captains will kill to find girls who will actually show up more than twice a season.
1) You're Only Hurting Yourself.
Like Title IX, the WNBA has somehow become synonymous with a woman's right to play sports. And like Title IX, this idea ignores the fact that women are not as interested in playing sports as men, nor are they as good at it. And that's okay (that men are better at sports; Title IX is not okay). Women are women and men are men. Men are better are sports, women are better at not being disgusting, arrogant douche-bags.
But that's not true! Women are just as good at and interested in sports as men are! Look at the WNBA! See!
You mean the terribly boring league that's propped up by the NBA and should've folded 10 years ago but doesn't because David Stern is the commissioner of a league with a 7:1 tattoo:player ratio and thinks his commitment to the WNBA helps the NBA's image? Yeah, that league sucks. But hey, if you want to pay for it, Dave, knock yourself out. But don't tell people it doesn't suck. And don't interrupt Sportscenter with women's highlights because you want to be politically correct (unless you like it when people change the channel).
Admitting that women's basketball is inferior to men's basketball isn't going to set gender equality back 30 years. The path to equality is in making people realize men aren't inherently superior to women. Anyone who thinks sports are the way to prove this is dumber than the guy who proposed a whites-only basketball league a few years ago.
Women's tennis is the only successful female professional sport. This angers feminists because the sexiness of their athletes is a part of its appeal- because Monica Seles was such a babe! Actually, in the feminist's defense, Anna Kournikova never won jack but was a superstar because she's so friggin' hot.
So?! There are beautiful women EVERYWHERE. If men wanted to watch a babe, they didn't have to turn on women's tennis right when Anna was playing. If it were Anna sitting on a chair for 2 hours, think they would've tuned in? Women's tennis works because it's entertaining. It's a different style than the men's game, but not in a far more boring way.