Sports commentator Jason Whitlock bluntly explained why no one watches the WNBA following Natalie Portman’s comments about men not watching women’s sports.
Portman recently spoke about her activism when it comes to women’s sports while promoting Thor: Love and Thunder in an interview with Variety.
Speaking specifically to pay equity, Portman told the outlet, “It’s rare to have this side-by-side comparison where people are doing exactly the same thing and have the same employer and that their success is objective.”
“You can see who wins the World Cup, who doesn’t win, how many games, how many goals. It’s quite statistically objective,” she said.
From there she recalled her son watching the Women’s World Cup in 2015 saying, ““I kind of had this assumption that as soon as he realized it was women playing, he wasn’t going to be interested. And it was no difference. A kid who loves the sport just wants to see great players.”
She then declared, “There’s been an assumption my whole life that I’d be interested in watching men’s basketball, men’s baseball, men’s football and soccer. And I do. I love watching great players play a sport. Why would a man not watch it because it’s women?”
Whitlock answered Portman’s question when it comes to the WNBA.
He explained, “The WNBA is a charity organization. It’s Big Brothers, Big Sisters. The average worker at Big Brothers, Big Sisters doesn’t make $220,000. It’s a charity. They probably make $40 or $50,000.”
“And it’s not because men are sexist scum. And if we had started women’s basketball in 1946 or whatever or whenever the NBA launched, the WNBA would be more popular,” Whitlock stated. “The skills aren’t the same. No one wants to see Brittney Griner play basketball because it doesn’t look as beautiful and it’s not as skilled as when LeBron James plays basketball.”
“That’s a fact,” he concluded.
According to CNBC, ESPN reported that Game 4 of the WNBA Finals in 2021 only saw 417,000 people tune in to watch the Chicago Sky defeat the Phoenix Mercury and claim their first WNBA championship. The four-game series reportedly averaged 548,000 viewers with Game 3 attracting the most viewers with 524,000.
Forbes reported the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics averaged 12.4 million viewers with Game 3 being the least watched with 11.5 million viewers and Game 6 being the most watched with 15 million viewers.
What do you make of Whitlock’s blunt explanation on why no one watches the WNBA?