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The WNBA Deserves Better Than This

Earlier this week, the WNBA touched down in Florida where they will embark on the journey to restart the season at the illustrious IMG Academy… or so we thought.

ESPN’s Kayla Johnson tweeted out some videos and pictures of what the “luxurious bubble” looks like for these players.

This video came from someone else and got sent to Johnson, who then posted it. Look, I’m not sure what this is and what the context is. Like I’m pretty sure all hotel laundry rooms are just a dump with a few washers and dryers in them and definitely not something that should be of luxury. Laundry rooms are generally disgusting, like look at any college and you’ll see what I’m talking about. But granted, I know what Johnson means. If I was the equipment manager who had to do laundry in there or even a professional player who has to do laundry every two weeks I would be pretty upset too. Not to mention the rat trap just chilling on the pipe is gross. But outside of that it’s a “college-esq” laundry room, but these aren’t college girls. They are professional basketball players who don’t deserve that.

Next we have what looks like a worm embedded in the carpet. That right there is cause for a walkout.  There is nothing worse than spending money (which the WNBA obviously had to do) for a room that looks like shit. I’m not sure if that worm is alive or not but the fact that it’s right where you step to get out of bed is disgusting. And once again not something a professional basketball player or even a worthy paying customer should have to worry about.

Finally we have the food dilemma. I feel like this has come more to light since the Fyre Festival. Also I’m going to go on record and say I don’t think these hotels are suited for this kind of volume or pressure of handling professional athletes. “But John, they’re in Disney!”  No, they aren’t, they’re at IMG Academy. So IMG is a boarding school. Who according to their pages have 1,300 students who pay an annual tuition of $88,600!!!!! That’s more than college. Yet, if the WNBA is staying at their facilities and eating their meals than this can be a huge thing and not just for the WNBA players, but the students who go there. So this is the food that students eat who pay $88k a year?  Disturbing.

So here is a side-by-side comparison of what an average NBA player ate and what WNBA players ate:

It is appalling these NBA players complained when the WNBA players are eating this. But one is Disney and the other is a money grabbing “athletics first” high school.

But the real question is, is who’s to blame for this happening?  Is it WNBA Commissioner, Cathy Engelbert? The players? The Board of Directors? Like someone had to sign off on this to say “oh yea, we’re staying at a high school.” I’m going to say it definitely wasn’t the players, but they shouldn’t get off easy either. Know your worth and fight for it. If I was them this is grounds for a walkout and new player contracts should be worked on, immediately.

Engelbert would be the obvious person to blame, but I’m not even sure she knew how shitty IMG’s facilities would be. For the most part Engelbert is very likable in the community. She’s fighting really hard for equal pay and trying to expand the game. So maybe she isn’t the right person to blame.  Maybe it’s IMG for the very false advertising of their facilities. Because there is no way a professional athlete would agree to live in these conditions.

I hope something changes for the WNBA. I hope this is eye opening enough to show support to the girls game and how much the WNBA is treated like a joke. As a basketball fan you want the game to grow for both men and women. But until we start treating the girls game as basketball, unfair treatment will continue.

-John (Uncle_Mac4)

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