A week ago the women’s basketball coach at Baylor University celebrated her team’s win over Notre Dame for the national championship. And just like that, she became the target of a woke sports columnist. Why? She came under fire from a sports writer for expressing her desire of an invitation to visit the White House.
The winning coach actually voiced a desire for her team’s victory to be recognized with a visit to the White House. That just won’t do, according to New York Daily News sports columnist, Carron J. Phillips, who wrote a column taking Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey to task. Somehow a White House celebration is a real setback for women.
The Lady Bears beat Notre Dame in a squeaker of a game. The final score was 82-81. It was not Coach Kim Mulkey’s first big victory. Mulkey’s mistake, in the eyes of her critic, was that she didn’t go into an angry feminist rant to the press. The feminist rant came from Notre Dame’s coach who went so far as to declare she would never hire another male coach on her staff. Mulkey wants the best person available for the job.
“I understand her points, without a doubt. But I’m of the belief, I want the best person for the job. I have a son, and I would be honored if my son wanted to coach next to me.”
Those were Mulkey’s words during the Final Four in a rebuttal to Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw’s impassioned speech on women’s equality and why she wouldn’t hire another male coach on her staff. According to ThinkProgress.com, the percentage of female-led women’s college basketball programs dropped to 59 percent in 2018 from 79 percent in 1977.
Phillips questions why Mulkey would want to go to the White House since President Trump has not yet hosted any women’s championship teams, college or pro. “Why would you ever want to visit someone who’s made it clear they don’t want you to?” was the question he posed. Well, wouldn’t he want to be the coach to change that slight, whether it is intentional or not, if he was in her shoes? If he could pave the way for more visits with the president by winning women’s teams, my question would be why wouldn’t he? The most successful leaders lead by example. A visit with the President at the White House is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I suspect this has nothing to do with advancing public profiles of championship women’s teams. Most likely it is just another opportunity taken by a member of the press to slam President Trump. Why is an African-American male columnist so concerned about one female coach’s wish to continue the tradition of championship teams visiting the White House? In his Twitter bio, Phillips describes a focus on “the intersection of Social Issues, Race & Sports.” Coach Mulkey went out of her way to clarify that voicing a desire to take her championship team to the White House has nothing to do with politics. She referenced past victories and visits to the White House during both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. She said that those visits were an honor
“I’ve been every time for every president,” she told the AP at the WNBA draft Wednesday night. “It’s not a political issue for me. It’s an honor to go to the White House. I want everyone to say they went to the White House. Not many people can say that. I hope [the] Virginia men go and I can meet [coach] Tony Bennett.
“We were honored when President Bush was in the office. We were honored when Barack Obama was in the office. We’d be honored if Donald Trump invited us. With politics aside, we should go to say we went to the White House.”
The President sent out a timely tweet to congratulate the Lady Bears. Perhaps the team will get an invitation to visit the White House soon. As a side note, it looks like this is the last week for Carron J. Phillips at the New York Daily News.
A bit of personal news.
Later in the week I’ll give some shoutouts/discuss what’s next.
But for now, and the next few days, I’m gonna retweet some old columns, as this has been a life changing ride.
— Carron J. Phillips (@carronJphillips) April 15, 2019