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Sports & Society

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.

Renee Montgomery: Murder of George Floyd ‘woke the whole world up’

Atlanta Dream guard Renee Montgomery joins Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Imani McGee-Stafford (Dallas Wings) in sitting the 2020 WNBA season to embark on endeavors related to social justice.

WNBA will donate proceeds from ‘BIGGER THAN BALL’ t-shirt

As the WNBA considers scenarios for its 2020 season, protests against the state-sanctioned oppression of people of color continue to course through the nation. To show solidarity with the many women of color who make the league up, the WNBA should incorporate reparative racial justice practices and policies into its return-to-play plans.

Sunday Reads: A racial justice issue

A roundup of news from the world of women’s hoops (and beyond) from Swish Appeal (and beyond), featuring some of the strong women of women’s basketball who are leading the way.

Natasha Cloud joins Philly protests, demands end to deadly ‘white silence’

Natasha Cloud of the WNBA champion Washington Mystics has taken on the cause of gun violence in recent years and amplified her activism recently in the wake the murder of George Floyd and other unarmed black citizens.

Dawn Staley: ‘People are mad BECAUSE NOTHING HAS CHANGED’

Hall of Fame head coach Dawn Staley discusses in an essay in The Players’ Tribune the toll of persistent racial injustice and white supremacy on Black Americans.

Sick of the silence

Among others, Natasha Cloud, Jonquel Jones and Chloe Jackson have called out the ills of white supremacy, including how these ills still infect women’s basketball.

Maya Moore would be the worthiest winner of the Ali Sports Humanitarian Award

Maya Moore was announced as a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award, the winner of which will be announced at the ESPYs on June 21. Because of her commitment to criminal justice reform and the sacrifices she has made in support of it, Moore should add the Ali Award to an already full trophy case.

The significance of Candice Storey Lee

When Vanderbilt named Candice Storey Lee its athletic director, she became the first black woman to serve in that role in the SEC, and only the fifth woman currently leading the athletic department of a Power Five school. Here’s why her hiring is so significant:

‘I can’t breathe’: The two realities of Kelly Graves and George Floyd

In April, Oregon Ducks head coach Kelly Graves in a tone-deaf move tweeted a photo of himself playfully "getting arrested" by former Duck Katelyn Loper, now a police officer in Eugene. One month later, police, this time in Minneapolis, killed yet another black man: George Floyd.

Why do we root for the underdog?

Everyone loves an upset. By why? Is this love conditional? There are several theories as to why we tend to root for underdogs in sports — sometimes over our own favorite teams.

‘Players of the New School’: A powerhouse of black women media influencers

On the latest episode of "Players from the New School," we finally gather the Minny Tribe for one of the most requested interviews. WNBA personalities and producers Erica Ayala, Jasmine Brown, Arielle Chambers, Laureen Irat and Princess Streeter chat with Jasmine Baker about the upcoming WNBA season, and more.

Jesse Owens vs. Hitler is the ultimate underdog story

And other musings about quintessential underdog Jesse Owens, underdog psychology and theories about why underdogs win.

‘You don’t have to hold it all in’: Katie Lou Samuelson opens up about mental health struggles

"It’s important to get this message out," Samuelson told ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel. "Anyone can be looking great and be the light in the room, but we don’t know what’s really behind the scenes." Samuelson said the mental health challenges people might be facing during the pandemic inspired her to share her story.

Maya Moore is a nominee for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award

Moore sacrificed two years of her playing career to work on behalf of criminal justice reform. She is nominated along with two NFL players, one MLB designated hitter, and NBA forward and a WWE star. The winner will be announced at the ESPYS on June 21.

How Muffet McGraw empowered women

At the 2019 Final Four, Muffet McGraw went viral for her words on gender inequality. Throughout her 33-year coaching career at Lehigh and Notre Dame, McGraw modeled how sports can empower women. The attitudes and actions of her former players demonstrate her influence.

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Curt Miller wishes he’d come out sooner

Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller has said he wishes he would have come out of the closet sooner on behalf of those needing a role model.


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