WNBA star says women’s basketball isn’t popular because players are predominantly Black, unlike ‘cute and white and straight’ soccer players

The longstanding inequalities between men’s and women’s professional sports have been well documented, most recently highlighted with the USA Women’s National Soccer Team filing a discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation for paying their male counterparts more than them on the basis that the men’s game “requires a higher level of skill.”

Deeper in the minutiae of professional women’s sports, however, U.S. soccer stars have the upper hand in public perception, support, and appreciation as opposed to the talented Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) players, according to legendary point guard Sue Bird. 

The reason for women’s soccer’s larger public popularity? It all comes down to appeal. 


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“Even though we’re female athletes playing at a high level, our worlds, you know, the soccer world and the basketball world are just totally different,” Bird explained to CNN Sport reporter Don Riddell.

“And to be blunt it’s the demographic of who’s playing. Women’s soccer players generally are cute little White girls while WNBA players, we are all shapes and sizes … a lot of Black, gay, tall women … there is maybe an intimidation factor and people are quick to judge it and put it down,” she said. 

Bird is openly gay and in a relationship with U.S. Soccer powerhouse and Captain Megan Rapinoe. A member of the beloved U.S. Women’s Team –– who most recently won the Women’s World Cup in 2019 –– Rapinoe has been granted a prominent platform to speak on women’s and LGBTQ+ issues within professional sports. 

In an article published on Oct. 5, Rapinoe echoed Bird’s observation of inequality and lack of marketing and publicity around the WNBA, mainly due to the fact that most are Black and many identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“When it comes to U.S. women’s soccer, the general perception is that — let’s face it — we’re the white girls next door. The straight, ‘cute,’ ‘unthreatening,’ ‘suburban’ white girls next door,” Rapinoe says, despite the racial diversity within the Women’s National Team.

This inequality is a part of modern feminism known as intersectional feminism, which highlights how a combination of racial and social identities can compound discrimination. It acknowledges the unique inequity and struggles women of color have that more privileged white women do not have to overcome.

Such lack of enthusiasm and support for all women’s professional sports makes it difficult for the triumphs of professional women’s soccer to be considered a feminist achievement.

“I think we need to be careful about calling the support that we [the National Women’s Team] got a ‘feminist’ breakthrough, when it’s only part of the way there,” Rapinoe explains. “Because when the support only extends to ‘white girls next door’ sports? That’s not feminism — or at

Why Women Are More Vulnerable To The Financial Impacts Of The Virus

This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing  women the right to vote. Yet issues of gender discrimination both within and outside of the workplace continue to be problematic, putting women at higher risk when it comes to retirement security than their male counterparts. While the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reminds us of the tremendous advances made in gender equality in recent decades, her legacy also reminds us of how far we still have to go to—and why. And the “why” is important, not just for women, but for the men in their lives.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. António Guterres stated that achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world. According to the UN’s platform on gender equality, besides being a fundamental human right, gender equality is essential to achieve peaceful societies, with full human potential and sustainable development. Yet, as the UN points out, discrimination against women persists through laws and policies, gender-based stereotypes, and social norms and practices.

The pandemic has also shed light on women’s unequal footing. Economic challenges for women have intensified during the pandemic due to layoffs, furloughs, and extended periods of time spent working from home and juggling childcare, home schooling, and other responsibilities. A recent study looked at how women are faring economically during the pandemic and how confident they are about their financial future. The study found that:

  • 24% of women say their confidence in their ability to retire comfortably has declined in light of the coronavirus pandemic, compared with 20% of men
  • Only 17% of women are “very confident” that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle (significantly lower than the 30% of men who are “very confident”)
  • 17% of women say they have no savings in a qualified retirement plan account, which is significantly higher than the 10% of men who cite not having retirement savings
  • Only 19% of women have a written retirement strategy amid the pandemic, compared to 34% of men

While more than half of women (52%) and men (58%) report experiencing impacts to their own employment situations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, women are somewhat more likely than men to have been laid off (16% of women vs. 11% of men) and furloughed (13% of women vs. 10% of men) in recent months.

Women who leave the workforce during their peak earnings years, due to a job loss or the need to care for an aging family member, may be particularly vulnerable. Not only does this impact their ability to aggressively save for retirement but may force many women to begin taking Social Security benefits earlier than planned, resulting in a significantly smaller monthly benefit for life than if they were able to wait until full retirement age or later to begin taking benefits.

5 Steps to a More

Atalanta Media Flips Distribution Script With Women’s Soccer Approach

Women’s soccer company Atalanta Media launched this fall with the announcement of a partnership that brought the top English women’s league (the FA Women’s Super League) to NBC Sports and to an American audience for the first time ever. The deal Atalanta facilitated brought the U.K. stints of U.S. women’s national team stars like Alex Morgan, Tobin Health and Christen Press into the living rooms of their domestic fans, but it didn’t come at a great cost to NBC. In fact, it didn’t cost the broadcast giant anything at all.

The rights were purchased by Atalanta, and may be a harbinger for how smaller leagues bring content to market. Founded by former professional player and sports marketing vet Esmeralda Negron and former Sky media rights executive Hannah Brown, the startup venture invests in women’s football rights globally in hopes of helping usher in a new era of international visibility for women’s soccer.

“I couldn’t wrap my head around not being able to find some of the best women’s pro matches [on TV]. You had 60,000 fans at the Wanda [Atlético Madrid’s stadium in Spain] against Barcelona or at [the UEFA Women’s] Champions League matches and I could not access it whatsoever. That was a really big problem,” Negron said in a phone interview. “So we set out to solve it and build a business on the back of it, pushing women’s football around the world, giving it the visibility it needed to grow and people more access to the sport.”

But bringing that vision to life required upending the distribution status quo.

Traditionally, leagues approach broadcast partners with stats about their success and existing audience to entice media’s decision-makers to buy into their broadcast worthiness. That makes it harder for smaller or newer leagues without those assets to land on big-time TV or bring in the massive rights fees seen in leagues like the NBA or NFL.

Atalanta instead acquires a league’s rights (largely U.S. distribution rights and those in other untapped international markets for now) and offers fully produced matches to broadcast partners, like NBCSN, for free. By getting the sport on television, even without an immediate financial payout, the goal is to generate an audience that could reap long-term returns. It’s an upfront gamble on the biggest chicken or the egg scenario in sports.

Exposure for a league is critical to developing an audience, but an audience is what warrants exposure from the broadcast perspective. Atalanta is trying to streamline the two schools of thought in a way that satisfies both participants—the leagues, looking for capital and cash, and potential broadcast partners, often wary of taking the risk on untested rights. Atalanta also built a community platform, Ata Football, to interest what Negron sees as a “very underserved market,” of young female fans around the world in the matches she’s working to get on television.

“Leagues want investments and money; premium broadcasters are hard to get that from when there’s no proof of audience yet. Women’s

Election 2020 Today: Suburban women revolt, COVID aid delay

Here’s what’s happening Monday in Election 2020, 15 days until Election Day:

HOW TO VOTE: AP’s state-by-state interactive has details on how to vote in this election.

TODAY’S TOP STORIES:

SUBURBAN WOMEN LEAD TRUMP REVOLT: For many suburban women, the past four years have marked a political awakening that has powered women’s marches, the #MeToo movement and the victories of record numbers of female candidates. That energy has helped create the widest gender gap in the political divide in recent history. And it has started to show up in early voting as women are casting their ballots earlier than men.

TRUMP, BIDEN GO ON OFFENSE: President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden have been on offense, with each campaigning in states they’re trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election. Trump began Sunday in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before an evening rally in Carson City and Biden attended Mass in Delaware before flying to North Carolina.

COVID RELIEF DELAY: New virus relief will have to wait until after the November election. Congress is past the point at which it can deliver more coronavirus aid soon, with differences between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Republicans and Trump proving insurmountable. Trump’s Republican allies are reconvening the Senate this week to vote on a virus proposal, but it’s a bill that failed once before, and that Trump himself now derides as too puny.

2016 SEQUEL?: The president’s attempts to recycle attacks he used on Hillary Clinton have so far failed to effectively damage Biden. And Trump has found himself dwelling more and more in the conservative media echo chamber, talking to an increasingly smaller portion of the electorate. Fueled by personal grievance, the president has tried to amplify stories that diehard Fox News viewers know by heart but have not broken through to a broader public consumed with the sole issue that has defined the campaign, how the president has managed the pandemic.

ICYMI:

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Most US clergy avoid hellfire threats over abortion politics

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Algerian Women Push for More Rights at Berber Soccer Tournament | World News

SAHEL, Algeria (Reuters) – Algerian women in bright Berber dress ululating, singing and beating drums at a soccer tournament last week were pushing their fight for gender equality – a cause that has come under greater scrutiny in Algeria after a brutal attack this month.

The quiet cobbled village of Sahel was hosting the third annual competition between female teams in the mountainous Kabylie region to push for a bigger role for women in Algerian society.

“Women before weren’t free, weren’t allowed to work outside of the house … now we have rights, we can be lawyers, pilots, or do any other jobs, and we are equal to men,” said Houria Hamza, one of the players.

The cause of women’s rights in Algeria has gained traction in recent weeks after the rape and murder of a young woman whose alleged assailant had already been accused of attacking her years earlier.

The case has prompted outrage and protests in Algiers, despite a public ban on demonstrations because of the coronavirus pandemic. Police have arrested a suspect.

“They don’t have a heart and they don’t have a brain. Those who kill deserve to be killed,” said, Naima, 52, a Sahel villager who did not want to give her last name, referring to men who attack women.

In the Kaylie region east of Algiers, a bastion of Amazigh-speaking Berber culture, women had long held influential roles in society but a 1990s Islamist insurgency pushed many back into their homes.

Hamza, a 37-year-old housewife, helped her team to win the title after defeating the village of Tabouda in a penalty shootout cheered on by dozens of women clapping and chanting.

“There is a lot for women to achieve. Just as much as men. Maybe even more than men,” said Fadila Bekkouche, head of the village’s women’s association.

(Reporting by Abdelaziz Boumzar, writing by Seham Eloraby, editing by Angus McDowall and Tom Brown)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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‘Our house is on fire’: Suburban women lead charge vs. Trump

TROY, Mich. — She walks with the determination of a person who believes the very fate of democracy might depend on the next door she knocks on, head down, shoulders forward. She wears nothing fussy, the battle fatigues of her troupe: yoga pants and sneakers. She left her Lincoln Aviator idling in the driveway, the driver door open — if this house wasn’t the one to save the nation, she can move quickly to the next.

For most of her life, until 2016, Lori Goldman had been politically apathetic. Had you offered her $1 million, she says, she could not have described the branches of government in any depth. She voted, sometimes.

Now every moment she spends not trying to rid America of President Donald Trump feels like wasted time.

“We take nothing for granted,” she tells her canvassing partner. “They say Joe Biden is ahead. Nope. We work like Biden is behind 20 points in every state.”

Goldman spends every day door knocking for Democrats in Oakland County, Michigan, an affluent Detroit suburb. She feels responsible for the country’s future: Trump won Michigan in 2016 by 10,700 votes and that helped usher him into the White House. Goldman believes people like her — suburban white women — could deliver the country from another four years of chaos.

For many of those women, the past four years have meant frustration, anger and activism — a political awakening that powered women’s marches, the #MeToo movement and the victories of record numbers of female candidates in 2018. That energy has helped create the widest gender gap — the political divide between men and women — in recent history. And it has started to show up in early voting as women are casting their ballots earlier than men. In Michigan, women have cast nearly 56% of the early vote so far, and 68% of those were Democrats, according to the voting data firm L2.

That could mean trouble for Trump, not just in Oakland County but also in suburban battlegrounds outside Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

Trump has tried to appeal to “the suburban housewives of America,” as he called them. Embracing fear and deploying dog whistles, he has argued that Black Lives Matter protesters will bring crime, low-income housing will ruin property values, suburbs will be abolished. Campaigning in Pennsylvania last week, he begged: “Suburban women, will you please like me?”

There’s no sign all this is working. Some recent polls show Biden winning support from about 60% of suburban women. In 2016, Democrat Hillary Clinton won 52%, according to an estimate by the Pew Research Center.

Talk to women across suburban Michigan, and you’ll find ample confirmation: the lifelong Republican who says her party has been commandeered by cowards. The Black executive who fears for the safety of her sons. The Democrat who voted for Trump in 2016 but now describes him as “a terrible person.”

Together, they create a powerful political force.

Goldman started her group, Fems for Dems, in early

English women’s soccer targets titles, player development

LONDON (AP) — England’s soccer leadership has a couple of priorities for the women’s teams.



Tottenham Hotspur's Josie Green, left, tackles Manchester United's Leah Galton during the English Women's Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at the Hive stadium in London Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)


© Provided by Associated Press
Tottenham Hotspur’s Josie Green, left, tackles Manchester United’s Leah Galton during the English Women’s Super League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at the Hive stadium in London Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Most immediately it’s deciding on a coach for the Olympics next month and whether Phil Neville should lead the British team in Japan.

Then there’s an expectation that Neville’s England successor, Sarina Wiegman, wins the European Championship in 2022 or the World Cup a year later.

But the English Football Association also has to think about long-term objectives and getting more girls to play the game from a young age.

So in a new four-year strategy called “Inspiring Positive Change,” the FA is aiming for every girl aged from five to 11 to have equal access to football at their school or club. They also want to create more ways for aspiring players to access clubs.



FILE - In this Saturday, July 6, 2019 file photo, Netherlands' head coach Sarina Wiegman attends a press conference at the Stade de Lyon, outside Lyon, France. England’s soccer leadership has a couple of priorities for the women’s teams. Most pressing is deciding on a coach for the Olympics next month and whether Phil Neville should lead the British team in Japan. Then there’s an expectation that Neville’s England successor, Sarina Wiegman, wins the European Championship in 2022 or the World Cup a year later. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)


© Provided by Associated Press
FILE – In this Saturday, July 6, 2019 file photo, Netherlands’ head coach Sarina Wiegman attends a press conference at the Stade de Lyon, outside Lyon, France. England’s soccer leadership has a couple of priorities for the women’s teams. Most pressing is deciding on a coach for the Olympics next month and whether Phil Neville should lead the British team in Japan. Then there’s an expectation that Neville’s England successor, Sarina Wiegman, wins the European Championship in 2022 or the World Cup a year later. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, file)

For the third season, England is home to Europe’s only fully professional women’s league, which is subsidized by the FA but is proving increasingly attractive to foreign broadcasters buying rights.



Manchester United's Tobin Heath celebrates scoring against West Ham United during the FA Women's Super League match at Victoria Road Stadium, London, Sunday Oct. 18, 2020. (John Walton/PA via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
Manchester United’s Tobin Heath celebrates scoring against West Ham United during the FA Women’s Super League match at Victoria Road Stadium, London, Sunday Oct. 18, 2020. (John Walton/PA via AP)

And England has become one of the most competitive international sides, reaching the semifinals of two consecutive World Cups and a European Championship.

The next edition of the Euros is on home soil in 2022 after being delayed by a year due to the pandemic.

Neville, whose side lost the 2019 World Cup semifinal to the United States, is staying around as England coach for the chance to win the continental title at Wembley.

And he’s not even certain to be getting the chance to go to Tokyo with the British team before Wiegman takes charge next September after leaving her job with the Netherlands.

“We will make that call and announce in November,” Sue Campbell, the FA director of the women’s game, said on Monday. “We, of course, want to win a major tournament. But to do that, we don’t want to just win a major tournament once. We want to continue to win a major tournament for years ahead.”



Manchester United's Tobin Heath celebrates scoring against West Ham United during the FA Women's Super League match at Victoria Road Stadium, London, Sunday Oct. 18, 2020. (John Walton/PA via AP)


© Provided by Associated Press
Manchester United’s Tobin

Pregnant women should not take ibuprofen after 20 weeks, FDA says, because it could harm baby’s kidneys

Some of the most commonly used pain and fever medications could be harmful to pregnant women and their unborn babies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday. 

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The agency requires labeling changes for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to explain that if women take these medications at about 20 weeks or later into their pregnancy, they can cause fetal kidney problems.

NSAIDs include both prescription and over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, commonly known by the brand names Advil and Aleve. They also include diclofenac, celecoxib and aspirin above 81 mg. 

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According to the FDA, these medications work by blocking the production of a chemical in the body that causes inflammation.

“It is important that women understand the benefits and risks of the medications they may take over the course of their pregnancy,” said Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.



a close up of a hand holding a toothbrush: Detailed view of young woman with pill


© Jaroslav Frank, Getty Images/iStockphoto
Detailed view of young woman with pill

Fetal kidney problems can lead to other pregnancy-related complications as the kidneys are responsible for producing amniotic fluid, the protective cushion surrounding the baby.

Fetuses produce the most amniotic fluid beginning about 20 weeks after conception, and kidneys damaged by NSAIDs could result in low levels of amniotic fluid, reducing a baby’s protection inside the mother’s womb. 

Jennifer Wu, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said low levels of amniotic fluid could cause problems with the baby’s development. 

Pregnant women with COVID-19: Sick moms don’t need to separate from their newborn after birth, study suggests

Doctors can detect a decrease in amniotic fluid levels as soon as two days after taking these medications, the FDA said, but levels usually return to normal after a pregnant women stops taking them.

The agency recommends pregnant women avoid NSAIDs after 20 weeks and opt for other medicine to treat pain and fever during pregnancy, such as acetaminophen.

Wu said taking ibuprofen and other NSAIDs in the third trimester also could cause heart problems in the baby. 

“When you’re pregnant, your baby is exposed to every medication you’re taking,” Wu said. “So you need to be careful and check with your health care provider before taking any medications, including over-the-counter medications.” 

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez on Twitter: @AdriannaUSAT. 

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

The Daily 202: Trump’s attacks on Gretchen Whitmer help explain his struggles with women and in Michigan

Many Americans have grown disconcertingly numb to this president advocating the imprisonment of his political opponents over policy disagreements. But this episode touched a nerve, coming just over a week after FBI agents foiled what they described as an advanced domestic terror plot to kidnap Whitmer because of their anger over Michigan restrictions to slow the spread of covid-19. Prosecutors say that these anti-government paramilitaries were training, conducting surveillance and experimenting with explosives with the intent of acting against the governor before Election Day. These men allegedly planned to try Whitmer for treason and then execute her.

“Ten days after that was uncovered, the president is at it again – inspiring and incentivizing and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism,” Whitmer said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It is dangerous, not just for me and my family, but for public servants everywhere who are doing their jobs and trying to protect their fellow Americans. People of good will on both sides of the aisle need to step up and call this out and bring the heat down. This is the United States of America. We do not tolerate actions like he is giving comfort to.”

Trump’s “lock ’em all up” riff captures in miniature several of his problems 15 days from the election, especially in the Wolverine State and among female voters. The president lacks message discipline, and his focus remains on issues that seem unlikely to turn the tide of a race he is losing.

Trump is always looking for a good foil. His efforts to caricature Joe Biden as a senile socialist have failed. The former vice president is viewed more positively than he was a few months ago. This contest has remained remarkably static. 

For a host of reasons, Biden does not engender the sort of vitriolic anger among the Republican grass-roots base that Hillary Clinton did four years ago. That appears to be part of why the president has focused so much this year on attacking other Democrats who a lot of Republicans love to hate, whether it be Clinton, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Whitmer or others.

Saturday’s rally came six months to the day after Trump tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” He did so to express support for armed protesters who had swarmed the Capitol in Lansing to protest restrictions imposed by Whitmer. Back in March, Trump referred to Whitmer as “that woman from Michigan.”

Trump has also long struggled to condemn odious people or groups that support him, as he did with the Proud Boys during the first debate and QAnon during Thursday’s town hall on NBC. The converse is also true: Trump often attacks individuals who are more popular than him if he perceives them as critical of him, as he has with Tony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, and Whitmer. The president fancies himself a counterpuncher, but throwing such punches often seems to prove counterproductive.

During a rally on Sunday, Trump ridiculed Biden by saying derisively that, “He’ll

The NFL’s Julie Haddon On The Link Between Sports And Leadership Success

With the world of sports disrupted and reimagined due to the global pandemic, I have been hosting a virtual series with Stephanie McMahon, Chief Brand Officer at WWE, delving into the industry and the women who make it run. After speaking with so many incredible athletes, executives and trailblazers, I was inspired to dive deeper into the correlation between playing sports as a youth and leadership success.

Growing up, I was a proud member of the varsity tennis team at Grant High School. I believe that athleticism fueled my persistence and confidence when I needed to speak up, step up, and launch my own business. How does playing sports translate to leadership in the business world? To explore this further, I spoke with Julie Haddon, Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Consumer Marketing at the NFL.

Shelley Zalis: An EY study found 96% of women with a C-suite position played sports as a kid. Why do you think there is such a strong correlation between childhood athletic participation and leadership roles later in life?

Julie Haddon: There’s a lifetime of skills that athletics teach us as girls, to become better leaders as women. We understand adversity—as athletes we’ve gotten our asses kicked early and often so we know how to deal with life’s ups and downs. We understand resilience – the art of the pivot when things change in a moment’s notice. Of course, 2020 is the embodiment of that skill.

The most obvious, but the most impactful, is teamwork which is key to working in any size organization. Having the ability to work as a “WE vs ME” means we care about the greater goals vs. individual goals. We think about moving the ball down the field to have impact…In fact, when I’m hiring talent, an added plus that catches my eye is someone that has been a collegiate athlete.

Zalis: In guiding young athletes and future leaders, what advice do you have for parents trying to encourage their children to stay active when many activities have been canceled?

Haddon: As a mother of three kids aged 9-12, we find simple things to do like tossing the ball around outside and running plays with mom at QB, walks in the neighborhood, or riding bikes. I combine this with watching professional sports on TV where I teach my kids about the sport—the rules, the teams, the game—and how they all work together.

Zalis: In your current role of consumer marketing at the NFL, how do you plan to keep fans engaged when they aren’t able to attend games in person?

Haddon: We understand fans are craving connection now more than ever, so we developed the Fan Mosaic which integrates them directly into the Showtime Cam. Players are able to catch glimpses of their enthusiastic fans throughout the game.

Additionally, we keep our casual and avid fans engaged through storytelling content around the game, companion content or football products. We have full fan-journey experiences across the