Today, MAKERS.com released the full 16-part interview documenting Leslie's life as a basketball player, family member, Los Angeles Lakers fan, and, most interesting, "activist".
"So I'm always about making sure I sign autographs for little boys and when they come to the arena," Leslie said when describing how she sees herself as an activist in the video above. "When I played I would always stop and take pictures with the boys and the girls because if you change the mindset of those young boys maybe there will be a time when they are the leaders and the decision makers...if you have to rely on the men to make the decision, we hope they'll make the right one."
A lighter part of that activism: Spike Lee filming Leslie, Dawn Staley and Sheryl Swoopes taking on all challengers at the West 4th Street Courts (aka "The Cage") for a commercial around the time of the WNBA's inception. The commercial, which Leslie named as her favorite, might not have had the same significance as some of the other things she has accomplished during her career but, similar to her focus on signing autographs for boys, does contribute to changing mindsets over time.
For die-hard women's basketball fans, most of these stories will sound familiar. But Leslie's story is significant as being positioned as their 200th Maker and their selection to feature as part of their effort to honor Women's Equality Day.
Leslie's "mini-series" is just one among a long line of female pioneers in the arts, business, entertainment, politics, and science as part of their Women's Equality Day celebration. Other figures from the sports world included in the MAKERS series are Olympian Donna de Varona, boxer Marlen Esparza, surfer Bethany Hamilton, soccer player Mia Hamm, tennis legend Billie Jean King, bodybuilder Rachel McLish, NBA referee Violet Palmer, race car driver Danica Patrick, soccer player Hope Solo, basketball coach Vivian Stringer, and runner Kathrine Switzer.
What other figures from women's sports do you think should be added to this webseries? And can anyone find that Spike Lee ad that Leslie talked about? Feel free to discuss in the comments.