WNBA President Lisa Borders Responds to Summer League “Killing” WNBA

The WNBA held it’s All-Star game on Saturday night and prior to the game Lisa Borders, Presidents of the WNBA met with members of the media. She responded to the report in ESPN saying that the NBA’s Summer League is effectively killing the WNBA.

Lisa Borders: So let me start with your first question about the Summer League. I normally don’t talk about my big brother except to praise him, and so I’m going to do that. I’m going to praise him. We like talking about basketball and having it available 24 by 7 by 365. Highlighting the Summer League, highlighting the W, we’re not fighting for space, it’s all about basketball, and this is the game we all love, so we think it’s helpful when everybody is focused on basketball.

In terms of Mechelle’s piece, I already told her she’s an extraordinary writer, but she outdid herself in the piece on Sue Bird. Mechelle, did I not say that to you? It was an extraordinary piece, and it was amazing that Sue, in addition to all of the things that she’s done as a player, a four-time Olympian, a 10-time All-Star, she’s an amazing leader in and of itself on the court and off the court, that she felt like she needed to have this conversation publicly.

I support Sue in her comments and in her statements and in her rationale, all of it. But at the end of the day, she shouldn’t have to do that. She’s a person. She should be able to live her life without people judging her. There’s no reason to judge her. She demonstrates who she is every day on the court and how she lives her life.

So I think Mechelle did an amazing job of pulling back the covers and letting us see into Sue, her heart, her thinking and all of that. I applaud it.

But at the end of the day, I want our players embraced for who they are, period, full stop, without the judgment. This league is comprised of people, women in particular. We should be able to choose who we love, what we do with our bodies, how we feel about public safety, how we feel about education. I’m not sure I agree. In fact, let me restate that. I’m sure I do agree, we shouldn’t have to defend ourselves and our right to speak up and have perspective on anything we want to talk about.

Women are 52 percent of the population in this country, more than half of every community. We’re not yet half of the people in Congress or half of the governors in this country or half of the CEOs, but trust me, my friend, it’s coming. It’s coming. Women are today, I think, in better position to make the statements they want to make than they ever have been before, and I think players like Sue Bird leading the march and saying, feel free to talk about whatever you want to talk about, professionally or personally, sets a shining example and inspiration to little girls and little boys everywhere.