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Sports & Society

NIL agreements could expose enduring racial, sexual inequities

This new era of opportunity for college athletes carries with it old, enduring inequities, especially regarding how an athlete’s racial and/or sexual identity determines her "value."

Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been sentenced to 22.5 years in jail for the murder of George Floyd.

Stewie’s shoe deal is cause for celebration, consideration

Last week, Breanna Stewart not only announced that she has signed a shoe deal with Puma, but that she also will become the first WNBA or NBA player to have a Puma signature shoe. While Stewie’s signature represents long-overdue progress, it also is important to recognize that more progress is required.

Barnes, Staley and the state of Black women head coaches

In leading Arizona and South Carolina to the Final Four, head coaches Adia Barnes and Dawn Staley put the spotlight on Black women head coaches, showing what can happen when they are given a fair opportunity. Will their success change how Black women coaching prospects are considered?

Investment, not an investigation, can solve the NCAA’s gender equity issues

In response to the resource disparities in the women’s and men’s NCAA basketball tournament bubbles, the NCAA has hired an outside law firm to investigate issues of gender inequity across all NCAA championships. However, an investigation cannot "solve" the NCAA’s gender problems. The NCAA’s unequal consideration of women athletes is a symptom of deeper cultural attitudes.

A’ja Wilson expands understanding of mental health

From the outside, A’ja Wilson’s past year seems incredible. Not long after the 2020 WNBA MVP led the Las Vegas Aces to the WNBA Finals, the University of South Carolina honored her with a statue. Yet, as she shared in an essay in The Players’ Tribune, things were more complicated. Her revelations help to expand the conversation about mental health, especially for Black women.

Gabby Williams muscles into the mainstream

WNBA fans are used to seeing Gabby Williams "show some muscle" in her Chicago Sky blue uniform. Now, a new partnership with Ford gives her the platform to smash outdated gender mandates and send a powerful message on women’s equality.

Clarendon on being ‘magically trans,’ fighting anti-trans legislation

After announcing on Jan. 29 that they had undergone successful top surgery, New York Liberty guard Layshia Clarendon spoke with ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio about the wave of bills sweeping the nation that seek to limit trans rights.

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Cloud: Inauguration Day brought tears, ‘a sense of hope’

WNBA champion Natasha Cloud spoke with Outsports recently and reflected on her journey toward embracing her bisexual and biracial identities, and explained why Inauguration Day was emotional for her.

Asia Durr’s basketball career is in jeopardy due to COVID-19

"Complicated and arduous" is how Asia Durr characterized her battle with COVID-19 when announcing she’d been medically excused from the 2020 WNBA season. The New York Liberty guard revealed on the season-opening episode of HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" that she has no timetable for recovery and no guarantee she can return to basketball.

Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler lost her Senate seat. Now what?

Atlanta Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler, appointed in 2019 to the U.S. Senate by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, will not be returning to Washington. She was defeated on Tuesday by Rev. Raphael Warnock, whose candidacy was supported by WNBA players.

Sue Bird plays elf to Steph Curry’s Santa

NBA superstar Stephen Curry employed the help of WNBA champion Sue Bird to help him and Rakuten deliver a money gift to Dr. Kakra, a COVID-19 physician in the Seattle area.

CP3 pays it forward in her hometown of Chicago

Candace Parker was on hand via virtual live stream at the Sports Matter Giving Truck, sponsored by The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation. The truck was there to present basketball-related gifts to girls in the underserved Pilsen community of Chicago. Parker is a native of Chicago and played high school hoops at Naperville Central.

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SI snub of WNBA’s collective activist efforts a ‘stinging, yet familiar slap in the face’ to Black women

Outsports took a comprehensive look at the significance of Breanna Stewart being named a Sports Illustrated ‘Athlete Activist’ Sportsperson on the Year, and examined the backlash. WNBPA first vice-president Layshia Clarendon condemned the publication for not honoring the WNBA as a whole. Swish Appeal editor-in-chief Tamryn Spruill stated in her interview with Outsports that SI’s choice is a "familiar slap in the face" to Black women.

Tasha, Chiney and A’ja named to ‘Forbes 30 Under 30’

Three WNBA stars — Natasha Cloud, Chiney Ogwumike and A’ja Wilson — were named to Forbes’ 2021 "30 Under 30 List." These three deserving honorees are defining what it means to be an athlete in the 2020s, both on and off the court.

A breakdown of political donations of WNBA owners

Despite ardent support for the GOP by Atlanta Dream co-owner and Georgia Senate candidate Kelly Loeffler, WNBA owners lean Democratic. But can the political activism of WNBA players be just as impactful as the high-dollar donations of team owners?

WNBA players celebrate the Biden-Harris victory

From league MVP A’ja Wilson and Layshia Clarendon to Swish Cash and Jonquel Jones, WNBA players past and present reflected on Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris winning the 2020 presidential election.

Why voting became a focus of the WNBA’s season of social justice

As Election Day 2020 arrives, here’s a reminder of why — and how — WNBA players are getting out the vote.

Why Natasha Cloud is voting for Joe Biden

From the continued fight for justice for Breonna Taylor to why she is voting for Joe Biden, Washington Mystics star Natasha Cloud discusses activism and politics with Tamryn Spruill on ‘The Hard Screen,’ a women’s hoops podcast.

WNBA players get long overdue mainstream shine with Glossier

The WNBA and Glossier have forged an inspiring partnership for the cosmetics company’s "Body Hero" campaign. Such a campaign brings the diverse bodies of WNBA athletes into the mainstream and it’s a long overdue and very welcome achievement.

National Coming Out Day: BG’s big impact

Brittney Griner entered the WNBA to bully opponents in the paint and slam down dunks. But just a week shy of her 30th birthday, her legacy off the court as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ issues rivals her vast on-court successes.

Kayla McBride: ‘The world stopped’ ... and ‘the dark stuff’ came out

Las Vegas Aces sharpshooter Kayla McBride shared candidly in The Players’ Tribune about the mental health challenges she faced when the coronavirus pandemic took basketball away. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Day, we are sharing an excerpt of her essay plus snippets from other WNBA players who’ve spoken out about their mental health.

Players of the New School: Which R&B album for which WNBA team? (Part 2)

Atlanta-based journalist and content creator Bria Felicien rejoins Jasmine Baker on "Players of the New School" to continue their discussion on WNBA basketball and culture.

Players of the New School: Which R&B album for which WNBA team?

Bria Felicien is one of the brightest stars covering women’s sports today. In the latest episode of "Players of the New School," she breaks down the 2020 WNBA teams as R&B albums.

The W wears orange

Fourth of July weekend spotlighted our nation’s gun violence problem. WNBA players are doing something about it, and here’s how you can get involved.


"By choosing to run political ads, specifically those by the most divisive president in U.S. history, you have thrown all of the Swish Appeal contributors into moral conflict," Swish Appeal editor-in-chief Tamryn Spruill wrote in an open letter to the media giant on behalf of her staff.

Social justice will be at the center of the 2020 WNBA season

The WNBA and WNBPA are using the odd, uncertain circumstances to their advantage, dedicating the 2020 season to the amplification of social justice issues. The Social Justice Council and "The Justice Movement" headline a range of efforts intended to contribute to systemic change.

Maya Moore achieves biggest victory of her career

On Tuesday afternoon, Maya Moore participated in the most recent edition of the TIME 100 Talks, speaking with ESPN’s Pablo S. Torre and the New Orleans Saints’ Malcolm Jenkins about the role of sports and athletes in the struggle for racial justice.

Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve issues statement on Maya Moore

Minnesota Lynx general manager and head coach Cheryl Reeve issued a statement on star player Maya Moore’s major off-court victory: securing Jonathan Irons’ freedom from imprisonment.

CP3 to rep the WNBA on HBO’s ‘Real Sports’

The Los Angeles Sparks star and Turner Sports broadcaster is among more than 30 contemporaries who will appear on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" on Tuesday (June 23) at 10 p.m. ET.

The Pride, power and purpose of WNBA players

In 2014, the WNBA became the first pro sports league to establish a formal Pride campaign. Since then, the league’s players not only have deepened the WNBA’s commitment to LGBTQ+ identities and issues, but have expanded the boundaries of activism intersectionally.

Layshia Clarendon: ‘The world has finally awakened to the superpower that Black women are’

Yet, so many Black women are cast to the shadows, ignored or silenced. WNBPA first vice president Layshia Clarendon outlines the social justice initiatives the players are considering for the 2020 season and accepts the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award on behalf of the WNBPA.


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