Links: The Minnesota Lynx, Tulsa Shock's coaching change, NCAA, and the insidious nature of pinkwashing

The Minnesota Lynx were honored during a pre-game ceremony at Sunday's Minnesota Vikings game. - Hannah Foslien

Links from around the women's basketball world and a brief link-infused commentary on pinkwashing during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

We have now entered that sort of slow period between the end of the WNBA season and the beginning of the NCAA season so these links post will probably start coming on a weekly basis. But do know that we're keeping up with the news.

Without further ado, a quick whip around women's basketball - and the "pinkwashing" that occurs during October - follows.

Celebrating the Minnesota Lynx

We've been keeping up with the Lynx in our 2013 WNBA Finals storystream, but there were a few articles following their parade in Minneapolis on Monday that are worth checking out.

Also, Phil Ervin tweeted about something that was just kind cool.

And in related financial news...

After years of torment, this is not a bad time to be a Minneapolis basketball fan.

Around the WNBA: Tulsa Shock dismiss Gary Kloppenburg

  • Speaking of financial matters, Boti Nagy of The Advertiser had an interesting report on Basketball Australia's chief executive officer Kristina Keneally's trip to the U.S. to check out not only the WNBA and NCAA, but also the D-League. In addition to potentially strengthening Australia's ties to U.S. basketball, Nagy highlighted the role of increasing physicality in holding back the game. Read more >>>
  • Mike Brown of the Tulsa World summarized the Tulsa Shock's announcement yesterday that they had dismissed coach Gary Kloppenburg after two years of service and taking the winning a (Tulsa) franchise-high 11 wins in 2013. Kloppeburg was quoted in the article as saying: "I'm very disappointed with the Shock's decision to move in another direction." But this shouldn't really come as a major surprise: as Brown reports, it's something that has been in the works for months. Read more >>>
  • Michael Peters of the Tulsa World believes that Kloppenburg might have deserved another chance: "It would be unfair to underestimate the train wreck this franchise was when Kloppenburg took over two years ago. Bad decisions and bad luck had turned the Shock into a laughingstock. Kloppenburg didn't turn Tulsa into the Los Angeles Lakers by any means, but at least the Shock isn't an embarrassment any more. And after the first two years of this franchise's time in Tulsa, that's progress. Just for that, the coach deserved at least one more year to finish the job." Read more >>>
  • John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant discussed a wide range of women's basketball topics last Thursday, from the WNBA's collective bargaining agreement to its still TBD 2014 draft lottery to whether Kara Lawson or Asjha Jones will ever play for the Connecticut Sun again. Definitely worth a read and ponder. Read more >>>

NCAA: Sylvia Hatchell's leukemia diagnosis, preseason polls

  • The American Athletic Conference has announced its preseason polls and (not surprisingly) UConn and Louisville led the All-Conference team with a combined seven selections. UConn's Breanna Stewart has been selected as Preseason Player of the Year. Read more >>>
  • ESPN, among others, reported on Monday that University of North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell has been diagnosed with leukemia and will "temporarily step away from her coaching duties to focus on treatment." Her replacement: "Longtime assistant Andrew Calder will lead the program while Hatchell is away. He has been on Hatchell's staff throughout her tenure, which includes six 30-win seasons." Read more >>>

Sports, society, and the tyranny of "pinkwashing"

A trailer for the 2011 Canadian documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. which "visits some of the massive fundraising runs and questions where the money goes and asks 'who really profits from pink ribbon campaigns?'."

I've been meaning to post a link to ThinkBeforeYouPink.org for weeks, but with the WNBA playoffs going on and nobody wearing pink I just held on to it. But as you (and anyone who watches the NFL) probably already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everything turns pink.

We've discussed this issue of "pinkwashing" before around this site and Barbara Ehrenreich wrote a scathing criticism of how "...the breast cancer cult turns women into dupes of what could be called the Cancer Industrial Complex..." that didn't use the label but laid the conceptual groundwork for it back in 2001.

But just yesterday, Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel (h/t @nycscribbler aka Queenie) described this phenomenon of "pinkwashing" as the, "...insidious Breast Cancer® cause marketing that doesn't actually do anything but exploit people's good intentions to at best pad corporate pockets and at worst convince people to expose themselves to carcinogenic chemicals For The Cause." You read that correctly: multiple companies have seized upon people's willingness to feel like they're part of the cause by marketing pink products that actually cause cancer.

ThinkBeforeYouPink.org has a great list of critical questions to consider Before You Buy Pink, but the bottom line is you're probably best off just donating directly to an organization that actually supports breast cancer programs/research. It's bad enough when organizations throw a splash of pink onto their packaging when they have no intention of actually contributing any portion of your money to breast health; profiting off pinkwashing with products that actually contribute to the problem it's (poorly) trying to solve is abhorrent. It doesn't take a Marxist scholar to figure out that this is capitalist commodification of an idea at its ugliest.

Of course, there have been other links floating around the web over the last week. Feel free to dump links in the comments below or post a fanshot that we can share with the community. If you have a longer commentary about anything related to women's basketball - or even pinkwashing, which really is an insidious phenomenon - feel free to write up a fanpost.

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