NBA and WNBA to Lift Gender Restrictions for Sake of Equality and Consistency
April 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
For this April Fool’s Day I decided to try my hand at news satire.
The NBA and WNBA have jointly announced plans to lift the gender restrictions for their men’s and women’s basketball programs.
This move would effectively open the door for players identifying with a gender inconsistent with the one they were arbitrarily assigned on their birth certificate to play on either league.
“This decision was largely based on the National Basketball Association’s commitment to gender equality,” said an NBA spokesperson yesterday. “To be consistent with that and keep up with today’s feelings about gender, we realized we needed to dissolve the discriminatory dichotomy of both organizations and stop separating men and women in sports.”
The move may also be a response to public outcries for consistency in light of the NBA’s protest of South Carolina’s anti-LGBTTQQIAAP legislation restricting public restroom usage to a person’s biological sex. The NBA threatened to pull its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, NC, and similar corporations were upset by the state’s presumption to tell people where they can pee.
“If the NBA is going to insist biological boys can use the ladies room or vise-versa in any state they have all-star games, then for consistency we all need to do basketball like we do bathrooms—together,” WNBA Director of Public Policy on Bathrooms and Gender Equality Annie Tingose said.
How are coaches and players reacting to this announcement?
“I’ll go along with whatever the bosses say,” acquiesced Cleveland Cavaliers coach Will Neal. “I don’t care if my players are boys or girls, as long as I know which locker room I need to go to after the game to yell at them. I’m sure those little details will get worked out somehow. But right now, my guys… or girls… need to start winning games, so I’m open to anything.”
Chicago Bulls guard Andi Switcher, who is considering a transition to the WNBA’s Chicago Sky, is excited about the prospect of earning the title of “hero” or “brave” by being the first transgender player to make a male-female league crossover.
“The Sky’s the limit!” said Andi, formerly Andy, a biological male who began to identify as a female mid-season last year. “As long as they continue to pay me like a man, I’m thrilled about the possibility to play for the WNBA, maybe show them how to dunk a basketball.”
Many say it’s a step in the right direction, but some say perhaps not far enough.
UCLA graduate Klaktar Xindrafo, who says ze doesn’t identify with either male or female, and even declined to say what position ze played, has been recruited by both the NBA and WNBA. Xindrafo is weighing zis options as to which league ze will play for.
“It’s liberating to come out from the bonds of society’s archaic and bigoted male-female binary, but I don’t know yet if the men’s or women’s court is where I will feel truly free to be me,” Xindrafo said.
Responding to the news, NBC sports analyst Jack Morales suggested another benefit to the idea of gender fluidity between men’s and women’s basketball, at least for the women’s league.
“Most people aren’t aware that there is a WNBA, so having some NBA players hop over there may help with that,” Morales remarked on SportsingCentral last night.
It remains to be seen if freedom to switch between men’s and women’s leagues will endure, or give way to additional, more all-inclusive leagues.
Options suggested include the formation of the TNBA (for those “Transitioning” from one gender to another), QNBA (for those “Questioning” their gender), and QUILTBAGNBA (for those “Queer [or Questioning] Undecided Intersex Lesbian Trans* Bisexual Asexual [or Allied] and Gay [or Genderqueer]”).
Another possibility on the table is abolishing separate leagues altogether in exchange for a single league where absolutely anyone can play together and shower together.
“In any case, the ancient, authoritarian regime of gender discrimination in the new wild world of sports needs to take the bench,” the NBA spokesperson said. “Let’s play ball.”