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MX News Update 2024

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Bill Simmons called out old article about sexualizing WNBA players

Bill Simmons is the subject of intense criticism these days, with a controversial old article of his making the rounds on social media.

In the article, published nearly two decades ago on ESPN’s website, Simmons suggested that the WNBA’s ratings were struggling because its players lacked sex appeal.

Here’s an excerpt from Simmons’ piece:

“Well, the vast majority of WNBA players lack crossover sex appeal,” Simmons wrote. “It’s no different. Some are uncomfortably tall and clumsy, while others lack the requisite, er, softer qualities to captivate men between the ages of 18 and 35. The baggy uniforms don’t help. Neither does the fact that it’s difficult for anyone is to look attractive at the end of a two-hour basketball game.

Then again, maybe these realities don’t matter as much as you might think, because Sue Bird is downright adorable — even when she’s wearing Rip Hamilton’s Schnozzaroo — and I wouldn’t watch 10 minutes of a WNBA game because of her . If Sue walked around the ESPYs in a cocktail dress, I’d be watching. When she has a pick-and-roll with Lauren Jackson, I’m flipping through the channels. And according to the declining visitor numbers, I’m not the only one.”

The old article resurfaced the same day former ESPN writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss said on Simmons’ podcast that WNBA teams should have the same names as their NBA counterparts, rather than “forcing” people to learn WNBA team names. Simmons agreed with Strauss’ opinion.

The end result of all this has been a lot of outrage. Sarah Kelly, deputy sports editor of The Denver Post, was among those who spoke out.

Here are some examples of what people had to say:

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