Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Becky Hammon, Bankability and Homosexuality

A very interesting blog article can be found here at the Girl in Short Shorts Blog, discussing the entire Hammon/Russian team angle from an angle different from the angle usually taken.

From what GiSS writes, the WNBA has made Becky Hammon one of its more bankable stars. She has this Sweet All-American Girl look, Bill Clinton supposedly came to a WNBA game to watch Becky play, and she's that (white) face of bankability to make the WNBA a "family" game.

When last year's WNBA MVP runner-up was inexplicably left off a list of 23 invitees to the U. S. Basketball Women's Olympic Training Camp, this set off a chain of events than ended with Hammon on the Russian team. So the WNBA is concerned about its new sweet All-American bankable star ending up with the Russians. It makes Hammon less "saleable".

However, I suspect there is a further concern. According to the Girls in Short Shorts blog, Hammon might be -- and I am not saying this, not claiming this, not having any evidence that it is the case -- gay. Which is no damn big deal. We know at least 5 percent of the WNBA would have to be gay based on demographics alone, and the number is probably greater due to the fact that lesbians have been attracted to sports since time immemorial. (The Sapphic Games competed with the all-male Olympics for years, but sadly, the yearly winners have been lost to legend.)

I'm sure part of the WNBA's fear might be that inquiring reporters will expose the nature of Becky's (hypothetically gay) love life, and the VFW crowd will throw up their hands and say, "That's it! All women's basketball players are gay." If this would be true, women's basketball would join the list of all-gay professions, such as the steel industry. (According to sociologist Moe Szyslak.) The WNBA has to Keep Becky Hammon Marketable, which I suppose is synonymous with Keep Becky Hammon Heterosexual. (Ask Ellen DeGeneres how her career was destroyed by coming out. Ask Sheryl Swoopes, too.)

Ah, what interesting times we live in. All the dumb ass suggestions we've heard. Makeup classes, the suggestion of the liberal masters of the WNBA. Dressing like Olympic beach volleyball players, the suggestion of the conservative masters of...well, whatever.

Here's a suggestion to the WNBA and its fans: you're outsiders. You're an outsider league. The beer-and-pretzel crowd isn't going to accept you. The mere fact that you're women who are successful at sports threatens them already. An entire team of sweet-Becky-Hammon-looking girls would only be accepted at an eye-candy-hot-ass level, and never for sports skills.

MARKET TO THE OUTSIDERS, WNBA! The outsiders in this world laugh at the beer-and-pretzel crowd. They have nothing but contempt for the jock/fratboy crowd, and they'd be quick to claim solidarity with the WNBA. X-Games are very popular, so there's room for outsider sports in America. Maybe when Hammon is asked by a sports reporter, "so, do you feel like you've betrayed your country?" she should just flip him off, kick him in the groin and shout, 'Next time, don't ask such a dumbass question!'"

Hammon would probably lose a lot of fans...but gain a lot of others. I'm not saying this is the way the WNBA must go, I'm just throwing it out there. Now let me get back to my Soviettes albums.


A Founding Fan said...

That blog was really funny. I just don't want Hammon to play well on Wednesday at Philips. :)

Part of me at times wants to give Donna O a break on this issue, but most of the time, NOT!

I wonder if Swoopes marries her partner, will the W will put the wedding photos on the web site, like they did when they splashed Kara Lawson's het wedding photos all over.


A Founding Fan said...

PS It must really suck to be a closeted gay player in the WNBA.

Ethan said...

I finally saw Becky Hammon play, and YES, I totally agree about the "All-American (White) Girl" image. But she can play, so I kinda shrug and figure she'll get marketed for looks while she puts up numbers on the court.

IF she is gay, and I really don't care if she is or isn't, the backlash could come by way of her religious candor. The "faith and family" angle is another marketing avenue that Hammon has factored into, and usually "gay" and "religious" don't mix. Not saying this is always true.

Of course, people who want to hate on the WNBA can find any number of justifications, Becky Hammon aside.