A few days ago I opined that if the WNBA is serious about making inroads into the American sports conscious, it would lose the More Woke Than Thou nonsense and start heavily promoting players like Sabrina Ionescu. In short, emphasize its players as athletes. A novel concept.
What the WNBA shouldn’t do is silly, childish, stuff like this … which it just did.
Connecticut Sun head coach and general manager Curt Miller has been fined and suspended after his “inappropriate and offensive” comment toward Las Vegas Aces star Liz Cambage during a game on Sunday, the WNBA said.
Following the Sun’s 76-65 win over the Aces, Cambage called out Miller after he complained to an WNBA official about a call, saying she weighs “300 pounds.” Cambage pointed out she’s 6 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds, and slammed Miller for his remarks.
It gets better:
“I will never let a man disrespect me, ever, ever, ever, especially a little White one,” she said.
It’s hard to pick a starting point among so many fertile possibilities.
One, trash talk in its many forms, including belittling an opponents weight/height/age/third grade report card has been ingrained into sports so long one suspects the real reason Cain offed Abel was one too many taunts after losing a one-on-one game in their driveway outside of the Garden of Eden. Theoretically, coaches are supposed to refrain from such exchanges. However, when a coach perceives one of his or her players being unfairly treated by an opponent using a height and/or size difference to their advantage, it is well within the realm of correctness to complain about same to the officiating crew. Cambage, whose star ability skill set apparently includes rabbit ears, should know by now that opposing coaches can and will say anything to officials they think might help steer future calls their way.
Next, Cambage just had to bring race into the picture. Because why not. One has to wonder if Cambage would have been so mortally offended had the other team’s coach been a black woman. Or, for that matter, if the WNBA would have cared. Along the same lines, had the races been reversed, how would the WNBA have responded? The media? It’s well nigh impossible to believe anything would have happened aside from perhaps the player being immediately sent to sensitivity training prison.
Now, consider a similar scenario in the NBA. Or MLB, or NFL, or NHL, etc. If a player on Team A heard the coach or manager of Team B complaining to the referee or umpire about them, in the process calling them fat, what would the response be? Here’s a hint: it wouldn’t be running off and crying victim to the world on their Instagram account. It would be putting on a show of demolishing the other team the next time they met, with an occasional side-eye or smirk at the other team’s leader. This is how the boys handle such matters. It is how they are expected to handle such matters.
If the WNBA was an actual sports organization rather than a two-decade plus exercise in empty symbolism, it would have fined and suspended Cambage, not Miller, for being an embarrassing crybaby and for bringing race into a scenario that is anything but racial. The WNBA would have told Cambage if the comment bothered her that much, go light up the scoreboard in the next Aces-Sun game, in the process glancing over at Miller and snarking, “Not bad for a fat chick, huh?” Her teammates certainly would have told her to use it for motivation toward winning basketball games, not forever branding yourself and the league you represent as hypersensitive silly children who believe a professional basketball game should be a safe space from getting your precious feelings hurt. But no, let’s play victim. Which, given how the Sun defeated the Aces in the game during which the incident occurred, is apparently much easier than playing winning basketball.