Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A clarification for Mr. Kent

The article about the validity of Candace Parker's two dunks and their effect on the game (and its naysayers) included an interesting--yet brief--comment about the audience of women's basketball. Here is the paragraph from Milton Kent's article:
Truth be told, there's a market for women's ball, namely families with
young children, older fans, African-American families, that may not be the
standard, listen-to-talk-radio, live-for-SportsCenter sports fan.
Um--Mr. Kent--you forgot the lesbians. Lesbians form a significant portion of the fan base for women's basketball. I know you know that--the WNBA knows it. It's just that no one wants to talk about it. Did Swoopes's (whom Kent mentions in the article) coming-out this year do nothing to show that it's ok to talk about lesbians and basketball? Apparently.
It's disappointing. Sure all of us with toasters know the score--know the high numbers of closeted players and recognize one another in the stands. It's time for the Others to provide that nod of recognition too.


Pilarcita said...

Or was he perhaps trying to move away from the old stereotype that *only* lesbians are interested in women's sports?

Just a thought.

ken said...

If that was his intent then he could have acknowledged lesbians as a loyal fan base to which these other constituencies have been added. No, I truly believe there is a very loud silence around the presence of lesbians (as athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans) in basketball--and of course most women's sports. (See Strong Women, Deep Closets.)