Just like one of the guys?

July 25, 2008

Earlier this week, a huge physical fight broke out between members of the Los Angeles Sparks and the Detroit Shock after what seemed like an innocent collision between two players.

Since it was founded 12 years ago, the WNBA has fought (no pun intended) to gain respect from basketball fans – men and women alike.  I’ve experienced this firsthand: I wrote my honors thesis on the Suns and the Mercury and every time I mentioned the female team people grunted and usually said something like, “Why?”  It echoed sentiments that I’d heard from (mostly male) sports fanatics many times before.

Proponents of the WNBA – men and women alike – like the women’s games more than NBA games because they tend to play fundamental basketball.  That is, they have to hit their shots because they can’t rely on the dunk.  Sounds good to me.

In any event, the fight got me thinking: what kind of publicity will this fight bring to the league?  Will they gain respect because they’re “like one of the guys” or more flak for “trying to be like one of the guys”?  Or, in this case, is any publicity good publicity? 

Comment below.

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