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  • Eliot Fuller

Women’s basketball didn’t need a hero– it needed a villain

A few years ago, insecure men treated women's basketball like a joke. Any time ESPN posted about women’s sports in general, misogynists would flood the comment sections with sexist jokes. A handful of men– most of whom probably couldn’t make a JV bench squad in any sport– would claim that they could outplay professional female athletes (spoiler alert: they couldn’t).  

Fast forward to today, and guys are cramming into bars to watch Caitlyn Clark and the rest of the Iowa women's basketball team compete in March Madness matchups. It almost seems like the general public is starting to respect female athletes and acknowledge the level of skill they possess. So what changed? Many argue that Caitlyn Clark transformed women's basketball, making it more interesting to watch. She’s a fantastic athlete, so that argument has some validity. At the same time, though, in terms of generating publicity and attention, off-the-court implications are just as important as what happens on the court.

Clark in the Big Ten tournament

You may recall that Iowa and LSU faced off last year in the NCAA women's basketball championship game. LSU narrowly won and stirred some controversy, as many viewers thought the team's star player, Angel Reese, had behaved unprofessionally in their victory.  

An LSU-Iowa rivalry was created that night, and it seemed to catapult women's basketball into a new era. Suddenly, men became genuinely invested in the sport. People seemed to unite over denouncing Angel Reese, which certainly wasn’t fair to her but ended up being quite beneficial for women's basketball. You see, to really get people talking, women’s basketball didn’t need a hero– it needed a villain. It needed some controversy. Once you have people arguing over your sport and showing such a high level of passion, that’s how you know you’ve made it.  

Angel Reese at LSU

Angel Reese has done more than Caitlyn Clark for women's basketball, but unfortunately, she’s had to deal with all of the hardships that come with that. It’s not fair that she’s been dubbed the villain of women's basketball, or the person people love to root against. Yet, it’s not about who’s well-liked. It’s about who gets more people talking. Reese stirred the pot last year, and by doing so, she revolutionized her sport.   


1 commento

Lucas Del Rosario
Lucas Del Rosario
11 apr

sadly some people just wanted someone to be racist to

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