For those of you that follow the battle of the sexes, let me declare right now that women have finally won that battle in sports. After years of fighting for equality in the professional sports arena, they have proven to be the equal of their male counterparts …. when to comes to misbehaving.
Two incidents over the past week have shown that female athletes can be just as sniping, vicious and angry as their male counterparts. Exhibit number one comes from the world of racing where much-hyped Indy driver Danica Patrick exchanged words with the only other female driver in the circuit, Milka Duno. Words would have been enough, but the confrontation almost got physical when Duno tossed a towel in Patrick’s face … and then showed her “the hand”. See the video for yourself.
The second exhibit was something I had never seen on any level: an all-out brawl between two WNBA teams. The Detrit Shock and the Los Angeles Sparks started exhanging punches, including a physical exchange between a male assistant coach and the league premier player, Lisa Leslie. Once again, check it out for yourself as well as the analysis from our friends at ESPN.
While both instances show the intensity and emotional nature of sports exists on both the female and male level, the sad part about this is that both altercations got national attention because it was women going against other women. These kind of battles happen every day in sports but as soon as a group of women get into it, suddenly it’s played and replayed all over the media.
As a fan of womens pro sports like golf, I can appreciate the level of skill and believe on many levels the male and female game in many sports is not that much different. It would be my hope that the women who continue to bring a touch of class to the games they play. For the most part, they have done that. Be it taking time to sign autographs and visit with fans, or just play the game without all the crap and selfishness often found in mens pro sports.
On one talk show today, someone actually said that the brawl was “good” for the WNBA. It would bring attention to league still considered second-tier in the sports world. That may very well be true, but not all publicity is good publicity especially when it showcases your stars behaving badly.