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Draymond Green’s rant on pay equity needed more listening, less talking

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Draymond Green needs to take a step back.

On Wednesday night, the always passionate Golden State forward went on another rant, this time — with some unfortunate phrasing — about the WNBA and women’s sports. The thrust was that women aren’t doing everything they can to increase revenues in their game.

When responding to Kerith Burke, an NBC Sports Bay Area reporter, Green said he was “really tired of seeing them [ WNBA players] complain about the lack of pay because they are doing themselves a disservice by just complaining.”

“I’ve seen so many complaints recently of women talking about the pay gap between what we make and what they make. And I feel where they’re coming from. I know what I put into this, to be great. They put in the same time in that we put in. So, I understand what they’re saying.

“They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change that. So, it’s coming off as a complaint. Because the people that can change it, they’re just going to continue to say, ‘Well, the revenue isn’t there. The revenue isn’t there. So, if you don’t bring in the revenue, we can’t up your pay.’ They’re going to keep using that.”

This comes just days after Green was criticized for a multitude of tweets he posted highlighting how he believes the WNBA needs to do a better job of marketing the game to large companies so they can inject revenue into the league.

There were two huge problems with his sentiments. Number one, it fails to recognize the women in the league and around the league who are already doing this work. Secondly, it blames the women being oppressed for being oppressed instead of challenging the powers that be who have the capital to change the situation.

“Because everyone says, ‘We support women. We support women empowerment. We support women in the workplace. We do this for women, we do X for women, blah blah blah.’ And everyone uses it to their advantage,” Green continued.

“Yet these women (athletes) are not using these people who are saying those very things to their advantage. So, then, it just becomes a complaint that falls on deaf ears because they’re going to use the same excuse.”

Green wants these women to hold these companies’ feet to the fire and put money down behind their performative stunts to support women. I get it.

But WNBA players have been doing that, and they are falling victim to the patriarchal society that exists in this nation and the misogynistic undertones that still preside in many of these corporations’ decision-making positions that are not allowing these women to be heard. Thus, it is stopping the money from coming into the league. How about if we dump the same amount of money, marketing, and resources into the WNBA as we do the men’s game, and meet back up in 30 years to see where we are? By the way, the NBA was on the verge of bankruptcy as recently as 1982 — and that was 35 years into their history. The WNBA is not even 25 years old. And, as recently as 2016, 14 NBA teams lost money before revenue sharing kicked in.

What Green should be more focused on is helping to call on the companies that he is connected with to try to inject some marketing capital into the women’s game. After all, Green has a relationship with Subway, Smile Direct Club, and Beats by Dre. Has he talked to any of those companies about putting some money into the women’s game?

Green is placing the blame in the wrong place. He’d be much better served if just called out these corporations or challenged the powerful wealthy businessmen he knows to invest in the WNBA. That would go a longer way to helping the game than him spewing baseless and sexist rhetoric about the women “complaining.”

The fact of the matter is that women are held back by societal ills that have nothing to do with them – it’s going to take a strong effort not only from these women but from their male allies to bridge the gap.

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