WNBA Players Sound Off on Inequality

Online trolls went wild when it was announced that the WNBA will be featured in the popular NBA 2K video game franchise. For players and coaches, this dismissal of the women's game is growing tiresome. 🏀

All 12 WNBA teams and players are making their debut in NBA 2K20

Online trolls targeted the NBA 2K video game series for its landmark decision to include WNBA players in its newest title. For members of the team Chicago Sky, this kind of sexism is nothing new. In its 23 years, the WNBA has seen lower attendance viewership coverage by media outlets. Only ahead during the 2019 season has social media pressure resulted in more favorable TV deals, and a rating rise of 64% according to data from the WNBA. Players say they haven’t seen this translate into an uptick in financial support. Still inspiration has come from the World Cup-winning U.S. women’s soccer team, as well as seeing a general shift towards equality.

“Media outlets don't normalize women's basketball on them. It's 50 men's posts for every one women's post. And, you know, if people were to continuously put us on there as much as they put men's and it would become normal. And people wouldn't feel the need to go out of their way to hate it. But. People put less and less of it because of the amount of hate without realizing that's not helping the problem,” explains Katie Lou Samuelson

Facebook, forums like Reddit, personal Twitter handles, YouTube, and even 2K’s own blog hasn’t been spared but the developers have said that it’s proud of its decision to include women in the upcoming title. “Our franchise has always been rooted in capturing the true essence of basketball – it doesn’t matter who is playing – if you love the game, you love the game,” said a spokesperson. “As true lovers of basketball, we take great pride in bringing the women’s game to the millions of NBA 2K fans around the globe.” The moderator claimed that he had to remove dozens of sexist posts in a matter of hours. On Twitter, players like Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker continued to face harassment over the addition.