The NBA is coming back to a season with bedroom views of a lagoon and individualized menus from an exceptional culinary team. The WNBA has booked stays in multi-room villas complete with washers and dryers. Some meals are provided.
And on it goes.
The two professional basketball leagues in the United States are both planning to return from the COVID-19 pandemic stoppage late next month at sites 105 miles from each other in Florida. Yet the worlds they’ll be in from Disney World to IMG Academy could not be more different.
Kayla Johnson, a digital video producer for ESPN posted a video from one of the laundry rooms and a bedroom inside the WNBA Bubble in Florida.
The video doesn’t reflect well on the WNBA, IMG or the housing staff. Maybe the people handling the accommodations thought that high school students were returning to fill the rooms, not the premier professional league in women’s sports comprised of roughly 140 players (seven of which have tested positive for COVID-19), plus coaches and staff and media.
It gets worse.
More footage emerges of some sort of dead slug or millipede being in one of the rooms. Then the food gets put on blast.
The response from fans was all negative and ranged in emotions from outraged…
This hurts my feelings, wow! Like really these are professional athletes this is crazy. I played in some of the poorest cities in Mexico and not once did I stay in a place that looked like this. This is unacceptable, and needs to be fixed.
— Jonathan Hill (@SwissArmyKnife5) July 7, 2020
To pure comedy…
I know a trap house when I see one…Just go home or demand to play at the same facility as the NBA players
— Globalsportsbetting702 (@Globalsportsbe1) July 7, 2020
Meanwhile at the NBA’s laundry room. pic.twitter.com/2X5oYDJmXn
— Josh Hemsley (@joshhemsley) July 7, 2020
To another call for action against gender inequity in sports.
This is ridiculous! It’s just another example of how women in sports are not treated the same way men are! Thank you for sharing this and shining a light on the gender inequality in sports! #changehasnooffseason
— Equalityin2k (@equalityin2k) July 7, 2020
Oh, people thought prep school dorm rooms would compare to Disney's luxury hotel rooms? SMH unrealistic expectations. Not saying this is ok, but WNBA should look at @thetournament to get this "bubble" setup right. Hotels > Dorm rooms.
— Not Your Average Hoops Fan (@ScottTe79668615) July 7, 2020
We hope those failures were just some oversights by the staff and aren’t indicative of the entire living quarters or menu. More footage will emerge from life inside the Bubble ( “Wubble”) which will be a period of adjustment for everyone involved.