Taking my “A” game to DICKS

By Lisa Van Wyk  ·  October 13th, 2014  ·  Posted in Sports  · 
She scores

I’ll never forget my first basketball game. I was in 8th grade and after weeks of practice, I was excited to play the sport I fell in love with instantaneously, give my teammates my soul, and represent my school in front of our home based crowd.   Unfortunately, the crowd turned out to be only two people. It was then that I first experienced and understood the age-old phenomena of inequality between men and women, boys and girls.

I GREATLY admire our female athletes. SHE sweats the same as a boy. SHE gives her all until there is no more. SHE strives for excellence, invests her money, and sacrifices her blood, her guts, and her skin, just as much as her counterpart. SHE leaves it all on the court, even when no one is watching, or backing her, and yes, even when sometimes they are laughing at her.

The fact SHE PLAYS. The fact that SHE SUCCEEDS in spite of all that claws at her will to give in, and all that dares force her back, drives me to invest in her, believe in her, and elevate her.   I have never met a former female basketball athlete who doesn’t greet me with a mix of excitement at meeting a sister baller, and a dash of hope of hitting the courts again, but saddened when reality quickly kicks in, that there just aren’t opportunities for us out there.

So she gives back to her community and shares her love for the sport. She teaches others. She trains her own children, just for the taste of what could have been, and what could be for them.

The journey is tough enough, and I admire all those friends and family, moms and dads, brothers and sisters, men and women, who have supported the female athlete.

But what disappoints me tonight is that after all this time, even today, there are those who don’t see the value female athletes have brought to the game of basketball.   How does an organization as large and able as DICKS SPORTING GOODS fail to recognize EVEN ONE female in their fall 2014 basketball catalog? Not even one! Oh I’m sorry. I guess there were a few blurry cheerleaders in the background on page three.

I twinge with anger that out of all the hands this basketball catalog must have hit, no one had the right mind to realize this atrocity, or if they did, chose not to exert their power to display female athletes in their work, and show what SHE has accomplished and done for the game of basketball, how far SHE has come, and how EXCITING it is to watch HER.

Shame on you DICKS.

Good luck as you lay awake trying to cover this one.   Even this twelve year old girl, McKenna, knew better.

http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/10/living/dicks-sporting-goods-basketball-letter/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

In spite of you, I’m taking my energy, my money, my skill, and my game, and hitting the streets to meet the needs of girls and women everywhere. I’ll be filling the void you and many others have so treacherously created, and giving hope back to the hopeless.

I’m BLAZING my way with help from on high, and with the wind at my back.

See you on the court DICKS. Bring your “A” game, because you’re gonna need it!

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