A column published in USA Today earlier this week argues that the future of women's college basketball needs to belong to one skin color.
Screenshot: Fox Sports

A column published in USA Today earlier this week argues that the future of women’s college basketball needs to belong to one skin color.

Now, we’re obviously fine with the future of women’s basketball being represented by stars who are black. Great players deserve to carry the mantle going forward. But that is based on their skill set, not their skin color.

National correspondent Lindsay Schnell penned the column in question and you tell us if it sounds kinda racist.

Let’s start with the headline: Women’s basketball needs faces of future to be Black. Enter JuJu Watkins and Hannah Hidalgo

Why does it need to be black? If it is, great. But it’s okay if it’s white too. Or Latina, yes?

RELATED: WNBA Legend Sheryl Swoopes Says ‘Black People Can’t Be Racist’

Future Of Women’s College Basketball

The first test here is what would the reaction be if we changed the word ‘black’ to ‘white’ in that headline? Women’s basketball needs faces of future to be white.

Easy. The career of that columnist would be over. They’d watch as they sat down in the USA Today cafeteria and everybody casually picked up their trays and walked away. And when they got back to their office, it would be packed up already.

But that’s the headline. And headlines are meant to be attention-grabbing, controversial, scandalous, etc. What about the bulk of the column?

If you look at the responses to that post on X above, the journalist who shared it – also a USA Today sports columnist – gets ratioed over the column.

RELATED: Caitlin Clark and The Iowa Women’s Basketball Team Draw Over 55K Fans For Their Game At Kinnick Stadium

Is The Premise Of The Column Racist?

If you dive further into the piece, you’ll notice that the author simply can’t wait to shove Iowa star Caitlin Clark out the door. Why bother taking the time to celebrate the most talked about athlete in basketball today?

Specifically, Schnell argues that the popularity of basketball has exploded because the focus has, much to her chagrin, been on a handful of white players.

“Over the past few years, as women’s basketball has exploded in popularity, much of the media and marketing attention has focused on three prominent white players: Clark, UConn junior Paige Bueckers and Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, who graduated in 2020,” she writes.

“Too often, the Black players who built women’s hoops — and who now dominate the professional level, where the WNBA is 70% Black — haven’t been acknowledged.”

Black Women Players Have Always Shined

Huh. I’m old enough to remember Cheryl Miller being one of the biggest stars on the planet even outside of basketball. Why? She had a charismatic personality and infectious smile – and she was freaking good. Side note, she wasn’t white. And guess what? Nobody cared.

Maya Moore, Sheryl Swoopes, and Candace Parker especially didn’t take a backseat to anybody when they were hailed as the future of women’s college basketball.

Now all of a sudden there’s a shift due to Clark’s popularity and we have to write a column about how “too often, the Black players who built women’s hoops … haven’t been acknowledged.”

That’s just blatantly false.

“With Caitlin Clark headed to the 2024 WNBA draft, where she’s projected No. 1 overall, (Juju) Watkins, the nation’s second-leading scorer this season behind Clark, is positioned to become the face of women’s basketball,” Schnell writes. “She’ll be joined by Notre Dame point guard Hannah Hidalgo, the other favorite for freshman of the year.”

“Not lost on any of the powerbrokers in the game: Both of these players are Black,” she adds. “And in a game built by Black women, it matters that the faces of the future look like the faces of the past.”

What matters is that they’re good at basketball. It matters that they are good ambassadors for the sport. What matters is how they conduct themselves on the court as people.

Do you know what doesn’t matter? Their skin color.

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