Candace Parker: The Next Michael Jordan?

I play basketball every week with a group of what I like to call power lesbians. Last year a bunch of us got together to watch the women’s NCAA basketball tournament, which I’m sure we’ll repeat later this month. Several of my teammates turned out to be big Candace Parker fans–I’d never really heard of her, because honestly last year was the first time I paid any attention to the women’s tournament. (I used to watch the men’s tournament, but now that I’ve moved east I find I get too depressed if I try to watch any of the games with anyone other than my dad.)

Now that she’s on my radar, I was excited when I found this ESPN Magazine cover story.

And then I read it, and got a little less excited.

The first couple of paragraphs made me throw up in my mouth a little–has anyone felt the need to mention LeBron James’ “endless legs”? Would anyone care to comment on whether or not Steve Nash has “flawless skin”?–but I was really intrigued reading about the way Parker is marketed, and whether or not she could achieve Jordan’s level of fame (now that she’s smashing records in the WNBA, not just the NCAA).

And then I got to this paragraph featuring Aaron Goodwin, Parker’s manager:

Goodwin went on the offensive, asking what sort of message it would send if Candace were penalized for her biology. “Male athletes don’t get dropped when they father kids,” he says. True enough, but they also don’t lose precious game time and visibility or spark Internet blog wars about the definition of feminism.

Hey, that’s pretty cool, right? A sports agent who gets that female athletes have to deal with a totally separate set of standards that their male counterparts will never experience. Sweet! …Except that he kept talking:

Goodwin sniffs, says he is thrilled for his client, but then he threatens under his breath to kill Shelden. “You know, because I can’t kill her.”

Ugh. Check out the full article, though. It’s really interesting, and even if much of the attention is of the gross variety, it’s about damn time the WNBA got more recognition.


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