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WNBA President Laurel Richie Photo by Sophia Hantzes

 

It was “a terrific summer for women’s sports,” proclaimed WNBA President Laurel Richie in her second “State of the League” address on Sunday prior to the first game of the 2012 Finals. From Title IX’s 40-year celebration to the USA women’s basketball team’s fifth consecutive gold medal, “We were very, very proud that all 12 members of that team are currently on WNBA rosters…a great, great summer for women’s sports,” said the second-year league president. Richie proudly talked about “some real breakout stories” this season by the sistahs in her league: “Kristi Toliver [Los Angeles] was just on fire this season. It was terrific to see her as our most improved player. We all got to see what it looks like when Candace Parker [Los Angeles] is 100 percent healthy throughout the entire season. Continue Reading →

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U Have the Right sounds the alarm on teen rape

 

Ages ago, 2002 to be exact, I had the opportunity to review U Have the Right, a remarkable recording from HSRA (High School for the Recording Arts), Another LevelRecords and Forward Recordings. Financed in the main by Cornerstone (www.cornerstonemn.org), the Minnesota Lynx and Verizon Wireless, it hit me square between the eyes with something for which I was not the least bit ready. Rape, prevalent as it is among adults, had indeed made an impression, prompting me to write commentaries. For some reason, though, teen rape hadn’t crossed my mind until this disc landed on my desk. I guess, walking down the street, I just looked at adolescents, saw boys bristling with brash energy, fully convinced they run the world, kept going and, by the time I hit the corner, had my mind on something else. Continue Reading →

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WNBA sets the standard while Lynx falls behind on race

 

 

 

 

 

 

First in an occasional series

 

The WNBA recently scored its 10th top grade for race in the 2012 Racial and Gender Report Card (RGRC), which is published annually by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES). TIDES director and the report’s principal author Richard Lapchick and his staff uses data from the WNBA team media guides, and the league office provides personnel data to evaluate and determine final grades. The September 5 report said that the league set “the standard for racial and gender diversity among all professional leagues” as it scored an A for the sixth consecutive year. The Minnesota Lynx has had only two Black head coaches, five Black assistant coaches (2006 was the only year in team history when the entire coaching staff was Black) and one Black vice president in its 13-year history. However, the team has not hired any Blacks for other top management positions such as general manager, public relations director and community relations director; or professional administration positions such as marketing, promotions, publications and various other department heads that Lapchick annually grades. Continue Reading →

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Lynx rookie Peters off to a strong start

 

Devereaux Peters was drafted third overall in the 2012 WNBA Draft in April by the Minnesota Lynx. Despite being injury-prone, she’s proved herself ready to play thus far. At Notre Dame, Peters had two knee injuries and three surgeries in her first three seasons. “In the women’s game, [previous injuries] can play a part. I tried not to concentrate on that and just work on getting back to the college game,” she recalls. Continue Reading →

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For 30 years now, college football has chased the green

 
Many think it’s time all the workers get their share
 
It went unnoticed, but last week was the 30th anniversary of college football turning into a big green industry. Green as in $$$. From the early 1950s, the NCAA negotiated college football television deals. Then came the 1980s. The College Football Association was formed by a group of schools and got its own TV deal. Continue Reading →

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WNBA now on Olympic break

 

Mid-season month off affects teams differently

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

With the entire U.S. women’s Olympic basketball team entirely composed of WNBA players, the league schedule is now on break until August 17. The interruption has both good and not-so-good consequences for the league’s teams and players. “First and foremost, I think it is a terrific opportunity to showcase the talents of the WNBA,” observes League President Laurel Richie on this summer’s Olympic Games in London. “It’s an incredible opportunity for them to compete on the international stage.”

However, is the month-long stoppage of play bad timing or momentum-killing for teams such as Connecticut and San Antonio, who respectively are playing the best ball in the WNBA? The Sun is on a five-game win streak, and the Silver Stars went into the break on a nine-game roll. Continue Reading →

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Hometown star athlete shares the wealth

 

 

On Friday, July 6, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Jr. (standing at center in left photo, with basketball in right photo) shared his success with his old neighborhood by donating a new basketball court to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in South Minneapolis. Parents and youth were invited to the court’s unveiling, which included food, beverages and ice cream compliments of Larry, Jr. and visits from Minnesota Lynx stars Monica Wright and Rebekkah Brunson. See more photos from the event on this week’s Sports Page. Photos by James L. Stroud, Jr.

 
 

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Trailblazer Chavers an early beneficiary of Title IX

 

 

 

Editor’s note — June marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon signing Title IX into law on June 23, 1972. Ever since, the law has been lauded for increasing the numbers of girls and women participating in sports at the secondary and collegiate levels. “View” will look at the law in an occasional series, primarily on whether or not it has benefited Black girls and women over the years. This week: a “Title IX baby.”

 

The Minnesota Lynx and the Chicago Sky on Saturday will wear uniforms with “IX” on the front of the jerseys to mark the actual day, June 23, when Title IX of the Education Amendments became law. Pioneer athlete Tonyus Chavers proudly calls herself a “Title IX baby.”

“We grew up playing with the guys because we didn’t have girls’ teams,” says Chavers on life before Title IX. Continue Reading →

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WNBA assistant coaches work hard behind the scenes

 

Shelley Patterson is one of seven Black assistant coaches in the WNBA — only Tulsa, Seattle and Indiana have no Blacks on their staffs. Last season, her second on the Minnesota Lynx bench, Patterson became the first Black woman since 2009 to be on a championship-winning ball club. “I’ve been with some good teams, but from [Lynx] player one to player 11, I love every single one of them. They respect each other and respect us,” she points out. Unlike the NBA, which seemingly has a coach for every three players, a WNBA coaching staff consists only of a head coach and a maximum of two assistants. Continue Reading →

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Dealing with racism plays a part in handling stress

 

 
Survey gives insight on Black women’s coping styles
 

 
By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer

 

Throughout her doctoral work, Texas A&M Assistant Sport Management Professor Akilah R. Carter-Francique found that there wasn’t as much research done on how Black women cope with stress or stressful situations. In response, she created a survey to act as a foundation for her own research. “What I began to see in the literature — or rather not see — was discussions on Black women. So I went into my study more exploratory than trying to determine what is going on with Black women today,” recalls Carter-Francique. Through the use of a survey, she asked several female athletes at her school to share their experiences with racial stereotyping and discrimination situations. Continue Reading →

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