Draymond Green’s comments on the popularity of women’s basketball have gotten him into some hot water with some legendary women athletes.
The Golden State Warriors big man sounded off about the relatively small popularity for the women’s NCAA college basketball tournament compared to their male counterparts, offering some advice on how they can expand and find larger audiences. Though the advice appeared to be well-meaning, it did not land well with many prominent figures in the women’s sports world.
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Green Discusses Pay Gap
The Warriors big man took to Twitter on Saturday to share his thoughts on the pay gap between men and women athletes, saying he believed it came down to revenue. Green said he believed women’s basketball could be come more popular if it were marketed more like the men’s game.
“You make those that say they stand for women actually stand up. The NBA wasn’t always the global game that it is today. It wasn’t always driving as much revenue as it does today,” Green tweeted. “But there were people behind it, building the platform, and more importantly telling INDIVIDUAL stories and building up the interest in the players. That’s how the game took off.
“Who’s building up y’all platform?” he added in a follow-up tweet. “Who’s telling the individual stories of how great y’all are? Building the interest and transforming women’s basketball into a global game?”
Green pointed to UConn star Paige Bueckers, asking why there wasn’t more hype around the player touted as the best in basketball and saying she should be headed to the WNBA. But as Sports Illustrated noted, players cannot enter the WNBA draft until they reach 22 years old, leaving Bueckers short.
Green’s advice that women needed to take stronger actions did not land well with many. New York Liberty star Layshia Clarendon called out Green on Twitter, saying the solution isn’t as simple as standing up and demanding equity.
Shout out to NBA guys who come to tell people in women’s sports what we need to do to grow the game. Thanks, now we’ll ask for more resources, tell the powers at be to tell our stories more, and generally just start to push things “like the NBA.” Problems solved.
— Layshia Clarendon (@Layshiac) March 27, 2021
U.S. women’s soccer legend Megan Rapinoe joined in as well, saying that Green and other men could play a more active role.
And you know who largely are the gatekeepers to that money, investment, resources, capital, time and sponsorship dollars are? Men. Do you know who men listen to? Other men.
— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 27, 2021
Green Outspoken on Women’s Issues
Green has often been vocal on issues of equality and empowering women. Earlier in March, he shared a social media post explaining why he did not share a message in support of International Women’s Day, saying he believed that it was trivializing to boil it down to a single day.
Draymond on International Women’s Day and BHM: pic.twitter.com/L9twXamUhV
— TheWarriorsTalk (@TheWarriorsTalk) March 9, 2021
Green has been active in a number of other campaigns to support equality and empowerment of women. Back in 2016, USA Today highlighted Green for his participation in LeanIn.org, an organization that empowered women. Green called on men to
“You’re talking gender equality and providing better opportunities for women and building stronger relationships in the family and the workplace. We’re all affected by that every single day,” he said. “We can all do a lot better. It’s important to continue to spread these messages. The better we get at these things, the more it’s going to help.”