In the summer of 1997, a few years before our daughter was born, my husband David and I went with some friends to the game that launched the Women’s National Basketball Association. The Los Angeles Sparks were playing the New York Liberty at the Great Western Forum, the arena where the legendary Lakers played. We got our popcorn and gooey nachos. We found our seats. We laughed and talked while the players warmed up. Then we all stood for the national anthem.
As the first notes played, I started crying.
My tears took me by surprise. I watched the players with their eyes on the flag and their hands on their hearts. I took in the packed stadium and the TV cameras. I realized that if I ever had a daughter, she would never know a world where girls couldn’t play basketball.
The tears ran down my cheeks and wouldn’t stop.
As a young girl, at first I challenged the way things were simply because I wanted to play ball. If the girls didn’t get the good gym, then I’ll play with the boys. If the varsity boys team gets a band and concession stand at the games, then I wanted our team to get them too. I blew whistles and cried foul on some adults. I threw some elbows at the system to get what I wanted. Along the way, what began as a personal issue transformed into something more.
The people and the system reacted to what I was saying and doing. Nothing I tried was a slam dunk. Some people pushed back, “Girls shouldn’t play.” I rebounded from that by getting better and better at articulating to myself and to other people what I wanted and what I believed was fair. Sometimes I got an encouraging slap on the back from my parents and teachers for taking action when I felt something was unfair. I came to think of myself as someone who stands up for what I believe. As someone who could do something to make things better. I was contributing to a larger paradigm shift and experiencing one myself. All simply because I wanted to play basketball. Without those interactions, I would not be who I am today.
When you set out to remodel the world, you change yourself too. When you want to remodel your own life, do your part to change the world.
Activist, TEDx Speaker, Best-selling Author, Coach for teams & exec women. Fighting for social justice, women & Planned Parenthood every damn dayLoad More...
We are a nation in pain, but we must not allow this pain to destroy us. We are a nation enraged, but we cannot allow our rage to consume us. Please stay safe. Please take care of each other. https://medium.com/@JoeBiden/we-are-a-nation-furious-at-injustice-9dcffd81978f
I have spoken with community leaders and asked what support they need. Knowing times are especially tough, below are four opportunities to remotely help. Please reply with other organizations you know of doing good work in our communities.
From a friend of my wife: At an epicenter of last nights disorder, Midtown Exchange residents and neighbors set up food, diaper and supply hand out, as stores burn and are closed.
Hundreds of people are working together on Lake Street in Minneapolis today to clean up from this week’s riots.
ICYMI: “Far-Right Extremists Are Hoping to Turn the George Floyd Protests Into a New Civil War” - VICE https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/pkyb9b/far-right-extremists-are-hoping-to-turn-the-george-floyd-protests-into-a-new-civil-war
Many Minnesotans are peacefully demonstrating today, and we fully support you. But please know there are people looking to undermine this movement for justice by inciting violence. Please go home by 8pm so that we can remove the people who wish to do our communities harm.
“I’m gonna die”
“Tell my kids I love them”
George Floyd as he dies
This is completely irresponsible of the @latimes! Most of these currently violate the public health order against gatherings outside your household, aka are against the law, with no mention of that fact. 10 things to do in L.A. this coronavirus summer https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-05-28/10-ways-to-see-friends-and-get-out-of-the-house-this-summer