WNBA superstar Sue Bird: ‘Women’s soccer players generally are cute little White girls’

In this interview (~ 4:30) with Sue Bird, who recently won her fourth Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championship to go along with her four Olympic Gold medals, talks about many social justice issues to include the Black Lives Matter movement and the marketing of female basketball players. She is a lesbian whose girlfriend is Megan Rapinoe, winner of two soccer World Cups and an Olympic Gold Medal. In the second half of the interview (go to 2:35 mark) she discusses how female soccer players are marketed in the US as “cute straight white girls” whereas basketball players, who are all shapes and sizes, a majority black and include many lesbians, have a different marketing challenge in the US. They aren’t accepted as they are and she sees this as an indictment on how far society needs to go to change.

Oliver Block

3 Responses to “WNBA superstar Sue Bird: ‘Women’s soccer players generally are cute little White girls’

  • Maya Sykes
    7 months ago

    Oliver, this is a very interesting read. Bird’s comments helped me reflect on the image of women in sports, generally. I share their thoughts on how women Basketball players are perceived. Also, I believe that sports such as basketball, hockey, and American football have generally been thought of as more masculine while sports like soccer, volleyball, lacrosse have a gender-neutral image.

    • Oliver Block
      6 months ago

      Maya, very perceptive about the masculine vs gender-neutral image of these respective sports in the US. I agree with your thoughts. The irony is that Megan, arguably one of the most famous female soccer players in the US if not the world, is a lesbian and doesn’t try to hide this part of her identity.

  • Rebecca Jot
    6 months ago

    Interesting article and I appreciate both of your comments, Oliver and Maya. I agree that in the US soccer, volleyball, lacrosse seem more gender neutral and maybe mostly played by straight women. It’s strange how certain sports portray the women players as being gay. Like, for instance, softball. Why are volleyball and soccer more ‘feminine’ than basketball or softball? I cannot even come up with a theory.

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