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Why Women’s Sports Matter: The WNBA Expansion

The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), which was organized in 1996, was an organization founded with the sole purpose of giving women the opportunity to play the game of basketball at the next or professional level. 

Similar to other professional women sports, the league also sought to empower women globally and allow them to make their mark in specific sports in athletics. 

Additionally, this league has inspired and galvanized so many women across the nation and given them the opportunity to show their skills in a world that has not always properly acknowledged or given them due credit. 

However, as the league continues its celebration of 25 years, even more chatter has appeared about the possibility of an expansion of the league. 

The WNBA currently only has 12 teams and three rounds in the draft. This is very different from its counterparts in the National Basketball Association (NBA), which has 30 teams and two rounds. Yet, while the NBA has been around longer (75 years)  and has had a longer time for expansion and work within the league itself, many point out that the women deserve that same recognition. 

Rapper Drake, a native of Toronto, posted an image in his Instagram story stating that the WNBA needed a Toronto team. Drake also posted a photo with WNBA star and Australian player Elizabeth (Liz) Cambage on his social media, mentioning that she was the face of the franchise and his mini-me. 

The city of Toronto in Canada currently has a men’s basketball team , The Toronto Raptors. However, rapper Drake and many others approve and have openly advocated for the eventual establishment of a WNBA franchise. 

Further, whether he would personally fund or donate to the foundation of a team, this speaks to the significance of the WNBA and also its expansion worldwide. 

Teams across the country understand the impact and significance of a league that is dedicated to giving women in sports the opportunity to play and perform at the highest level like their male counterparts. Thus, the expansion of the WNBA is a must. 

Whether it is city by city or the inclusion of a plan that marks cities worldwide, having the establishment of teams across the country would better energize and implement more support for women in sports. 

Alana Beard, a former Professional WNBA player and Four-time All Star, has also proudly announced her desires and steps for a franchise in the Bay Area. 

Beard has partnered with the African American Sports & Entertainment Group (AASEG), not only to officially launch a proposal for this franchise, but she currently leads a group that is ready to expand and ready to bring the WNBA team to Oakland and the surrounding community.  

As mentioned, the WNBA currently only consists of twelve teams: Las Vegas Aces, Chicago Sky, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks, Seattle Storm, New York Liberty, Connecticut Sun, Atlanta Dream, Minnesota Lynx, Indiana Fever, Washington Mystics and Dallas Wings.  While these teams cover major cities within the U.S. it does not represent even half of the states or territories found in the country.

So, in 2021, there needs to be a change. 

The expansion of a new franchise in Oakland may just be the start, but the women in professional sports deserve a league or association that will thrive and allow them to excel in all possible avenues. Women in sports do matter and it is time for the rest of the world to tap in. 

Hello ladies! My name is Alex D. Williams! I am currently a sophomore, broadcast journalism major/ sports administration minor from New Orleans, Louisiana. My goal in life is to be a sports analyst on ESPN one day, and I believe writing allows us to freely express our ideas openly and honestly.
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