Boy, Bye: Why Gilbert Arenas Is Wrong About the WNBA

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 24:  Gilbert Arenas #1 of the Orlando Magic looks at the scoreboard during the game against the Detroit Pistons at Amway Arena on January 24, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gilbert Arenas

Boy, Bye: Why Gilbert Arenas Is Wrong About the WNBA

Female basketball players are not here to turn men on.

Published December 18, 2015

You can put this one under the “Please shut up” files.

Earlier this week, former NBA “star” Gilbert Arenas came under fire after making some pretty disparaging remarks about the professional female basketball players and ways to make WNBA more popular. He posted a video on his Instagram account of women dressed in thongs playing basketball with the following caption:

“NOW this is what America was hoping for when they announced the #WNBA back in 1996... not a bunch of chicks running around looking like, cast members from #orangeisthenewblack.”


Thankfully, folks came for him, including the WNBA that denounced his belittling comments:

“Gilbert Arenas' comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong. WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world….They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”

Given the response to his statements, one would think Arenas might rethink his stance and apologize. Nope. He actually doubled down making more silly comments the next day to TMZ Sports.

When asked about the backlash to his sexist and homophobic comments, he said, “So basically all the ugly girls are mad,” and said that if his daughter were to dress up in athletic gear instead of dresses, “See, I'm petty so, as a father I'm going to let her dress the way she dresses. As a petty person, I'm gonna laugh at the way she dresses. Period."

Laura Govan, please snatch up your Baby Daddy.

There’s so much wrong here, but let’s first start with what kind of father admits that he would laugh at how his daughter would choose to dress? Last time I checked being a petty parent is being a bad parent.

But that’s just the least of my issues.

Like their male NBA counterparts, WNBA players have spent the majority of their lives training, practicing and playing this sport in order to be the best athlete that they can be for the game that they love. These ladies do all of this for themselves, their families and the league. But most important, they play for all the little girls who too love the game, but have been told that basketball is “for boys.”

These women are amazing, strong and inspirational.

But yet, small-minded men like Arenas just can’t fathom that the world doesn’t revolve around them and their libidos. How on earth is it really a good idea to wear a thong and a crop top when playing a professional sport? I mean really. Also, can someone explain why there is an expectation for women to play a rigorous and physically demanding sport for over an hour, drenched in sweat, to have to look like a supermodel?

It just doesn’t make sense, but neither does sexism, which is exactly what this foolery is.

Sadly, we all know that for female athletes, this type of problematic scrutiny around physiques and perceived beauty isn’t rare. Just look at how dirty the media plays Serena Williams every chance they get. But it’s important to understand that what Arenas said is much larger than just the WNBA. His sexist remarks embody this widely accepted belief in society that EVERYTHING women do, wear and are is about appeasing the male gaze.

Boy, bye. Please recognize that many women, myself included, have been out here doing it for ourselves barely even thinking about y'all. 

Follow Kellee on Twitter at @kelleent

Plus, watch Bill Sorrells hit the streets of LA to settle the great debate: #Kobe8 vs. #Kobe24 -- below!

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(Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Written by Kellee Terrell


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