On August 5th 2014, the San Antonio Spurs made a historical hire of WNBA and women’s basketball legend Becky Hammon by making her the first full time female assistant coach in NBA history. While any basketball fan without displays of toxic masculinity can tell you that was an intelligent and knowledgeable hire by one of the more progressive sports teams, The Spurs. The misogynists on the other hand, were not having it.
Hammon, according to ESPN, had a reputation of being a smart, hard-nosed, tough-minded player. She made six All-Star teams and averaged 13.1 points in her 16 seasons with the Stars and New York Liberty. She was named one of the WNBA’s top 15 players of all-time in July 2011. Even with those credentials, it wasn’t enough for a woman of talent and knowledge to be accepted by the misogynist sports fans as an employable equal.
The social media firestorm was unleash upon Hammon, The Spurs, and women in general. Majority of those commenting believe Hammon only got her job based on sleeping with a player, Tony Parker most notably and unfairly mentioned. Some believe this is some feminist conspiracy brought to you by then President Obama. But nearly are opposed to the hire were sexual in context.
On one thread regarding Hammon’s hiring by sleeping with Parker, I addressed it their Facebook page and stated that was rape culture being upheld. Instant removal from a site I’ve followed for years for not being misogynistic, meanwhile the problematic remarks remain.
By allowing these remarks, you allow the degrading of women to transpire. I may have been removed because i violated one of their ‘trigger’ words by saying “rape culture”. I have sent them emails regarding unbanning me on their social media platform, to no avail. If i was removed for violating their list of not acceptable words, I support that and will accept that fully. But to say I am an issue while leaving up those who is graphic description of oral sex on a player in order to gain employment, where is the standard.
This isn’t just ESPN’s Facebook that is a dumpster fire of bigoted comments. Their main site ESPN.com is full of racism, sexism, and homophobic replies. As a sports fan who frequently visits their site while on the go, you can’t escape one comment thread on a piece without cringing. You tell yourself to “avoid the comment sections” only to been drawn into an article about a player signing or getting traded somewhere and you’re like “oh I’d like to see how the fans of XYZ feel about that move”, only to regret that very move.
To touch on the original point, sports are full of toxic participants and fans, and yet someone who understands this is removed while bigoted commenters remain. Becky Hammon and other women whether in sports or in systems deserve better than some lazy misogynistic assumptions that flow right into the patriarchy, most men deny exists. Men, you deserve better than assuming other men are as low as you. (Noted Parker’s personal past, which is still irrelevant)
To end, Becky Hammon is beyond qualified right teach basketball, period.