Welp. It Has Been The Year of Clarity...

Remember that short-lived line about how Coronavirus was ‘the great equalizer’? That garbage concept was quickly abandoned as it became clear that it was, in fact, the great illuminator of inequality. We thought 2020 was going to be the year of clarity, right? It has been, but probably not as intended.

Frankly, shelter in place is a lot less comfortable, let alone possible for some people vs. others for a host of reasons, reasons that are becoming easier for the rest of the world to see. We won't even get into those whose health is disproportionately impacted by Coronavirus (#@!$)... at least some people have finally had the courage to speak truth to power and start shining the light on that one.

I didn't quite expect to see this theme of revealed inequality played out while watching ESPN’s adapted NBA quarantine programming, WNBA/NBA games of HORSE, filmed at the players’ homes. Honestly I don’t typically watch sports - it was on in the background, but I paid attention long enough to deliver appropriate side eye.

We already know the NBA and its players are a slightly (ha!) bigger deal than the WNBA. But this... THIS was just a split screen of salt in the wound.

On one side of the screen, the WNBA. The players had very nice, comfortable, middle-class suburban homes. Their shots were taken via a hoop in their driveway like the one Monica and Q had in ‘Love and Basketball’ (great throwback movie). And their internet was a little shaky.

On the other side of the screen… the NBA. The NBA players didn't have houses. They had COMPOUNDS. You may remember Cribs - so you don’t need to use your imagination. I thought one player was filming at a now-vacant high school gym to shoot his segment… but no, it was his personal full-size indoor court. They probably even had their own cell towers to keep that data connection sharp.

Both the WNBA and NBA players are highly-trained, world-class athletes. But despite that, this innocuous creative alternative to regular season games wound up being a visceral reminder of how much more male athletes are valued than women. We know it translates beyond sports. And it's not right.

This year has been devastating, and at its best, inconvenient. But it's shaking things up and exposing truth in a way that's long overdue. Every day has provided another wake up call to illuminate various instances of inequality we've somehow been able to ignore for years.

So, what are we going to do about it?


Recent Posts