From Sydney Carter’s Wardrobe To Angel Reese’s Attitude, Women’s Basketball Has To Embrace New Attention and Expect Some Ignorance

Women’s basketball has hit the front stage. This is what women athletes have wanted for many years as they struggled to be seen and respected and have their talents appreciated, especially in the game of basketball. 

Despite unprecedented Olympic glory and epic accomplishments by legends of the game dating back to Cheryl Miller, Ann Meyers and Lynette Woodard, gaining mainstream appreciation of the women’s game and financial corporate support has been an incremental rise. 

So here we are, with all eyes on women’s basketball. The WNBA marketing machine is in full swing, the sympathy card is also being played to get people unaware of how pro teams are structured and funded, to support the idea that women in the WNBA are underpaid and the reason is because women are disrespected.

Jason Whitlock pointed that out earlier this week and of course, got lambasted for it. His track record on blindly supporting the causes of Black celebrities isn’t up to the standards of many. 

What he was trying to say was you don’t have to play that card anymore because your time is now and people are listening and watching. Just show them what they have been missing. 

Everytime Angel Reese gives an interview she reminds us that she’s a Black woman and how much they have to deal with and overcome. I’ve got a Black mama, Black sister and Black wife and Black daughter, so I know very well what they are up against. 

At the same time, their desire to be treated as an equal to men has them at a crossroads, where they will now be covered by men who traditionally never respected women’s hoops. The victory is in the fact that women’s basketball is viable and captivating enough that these men have to cover it if they work for reputable media outlets. 

Instead of fighting at every turn, they also have to find the beauty in what they perceive as disrespect. If a reporter is not telling you to “go do the dishes and get off the court,” then  any awkward or disagreeable moment just  comes with the attention and increased coverage.

Clark handled this weird exchange with reporter Greg Doyle pretty well. 

Being treated as an equal doesn’t always mean that things get better or easier. You’re just subject to an equal amount of criticism, negative press, offensive questioning and the like. 

Which brings me to the curious case of Sydney Carter. 

Carter is the basketball coach at Texas A&M University. She made headlines last season when she received some social media criticism for an outfit she wore on the court. She was wearing a white turtleneck, pink leather pants, and stilettos at a game, which naturally sparked an online debate about what should be considered “professional” or “appropriate” attire for a coach.

Carter responded to the criticism with confidence and also received support from others on the internet, such as rapper Nicki Minaj. 

Carter went on “Good Morning America” to defend her fashion choices and cultural preferences.

“I was confused,” the coach said in an interview with ABC News’ Deborah Roberts in an interview for “Good Morning America.” “Just because it was something that I had always done. I wore the pink pants because we were celebrating or honoring breast cancer awareness at our game in Kentucky. I posted my photo, and I had no idea that it was going to take off like this, so my reaction was shock.” Carter played basketball at Texas A&M University and was drafted by the Chicago Sky in the WNBA in 2012. 

Sydney Carter Won’t Apologize For Her Curves On Angela Yee Pod

Last week, the current director of player development for women’s basketball at the University of Texas appeared on “Way Up With Angela Yee” show, where she dropped the science behind her outfit coordination, which has become her staple at this point, and elevated her to a figure that Angela Yee would even want on her show. 

Regardless of the backlash, the attention she commands elevated women’s basketball and brings eyes to the game. 

Carter says her confidence offends people, but that’s not her objective when she selects her fits for game day. It’s a cultural and teachable moment if you want to know the truth. It’s not a clash.

Women’s basketball coaches – Black ones – are rare. Even rarer is a young, curvaceous, Black coach whose attire reflects the fashion trends of the time. As coaches and administrators get younger and more diverse in gender, the same stereotypes or misconceptions that they deal with in life will manifest itself at times in their professions.

“My confidence offended people,” Carter told Yee. “To this day, I’m not apologizing for who I am because I was raised this way. … It surprised me because, at the end of the day, I was just doing my job.”

“And like, I can’t help that I’m curvy. I can’t help that I like to dress a certain way and I’ve never been inappropriate. So, of course, to me, that’s surprising because it’s like, ‘What did I do wrong?’

Carter did nothing wrong and she looks amazing in whatever fits she chooses. There should be some guidelines of professionalism as a representative of a larger university and as long as her bosses don’t have a problem with her and her track record of success, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Any Attention is Good Attention For Women’s Basketball: Black Women Being Seen

This is not negative attention. It might be misplaced energy, but Carter should want that spotlight. She certainly didn’t tone it down for anybody and continues to get a groundswell of support and advancements in her career for her talents.

It’s easy to make it an issue of a man telling a Back woman what to do with her body and how to look. That could be jumping the gun, especially when women were also critical of — and ignorant to — Carter’s attire as it pertains to today’s fashion standards.  

Freedom of expression and being proud of your body and the way God created you, go hand in hand with the confidence needed to rise to levels of management in male-dominated sports. It’s a beautiful thing to watch women work. Even when applying pressure and fighting perceived negativity.

As women’s basketball continues to grab the headlines and start to really make a buzz, the elevated attention will bring forth some uncomfortable moments, at the same time, they shouldn’t be taken too personal. It’s all a part of the game, and the guys go through it too.

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