Seattle Storm star Sue Bird, speaks out on female athletes being told to “stick to sports”. One of the many outspoken players in the WNBA, Bird is not backing down. On the “Old Man and the Three” Podcast, Bird discusses how female athletes have tried to stick to sports but nobody would let them. Bird goes on to say sports was always made political by others, so to now push the narrative of “stick to sports or “shut up and dribble” doesn’t make sense.
During the podcast, Bird was asked about the controversy surrounding politicians in Washington attacking players in the bubble rather than focusing on COVID-19 or other related matters in which Bird answered:
“One day I just woke up [and] this kind of hit me. All politicians are trying to say to us is ‘keep politics out of sports. Ugh, this is where I want to go to just watch a game.’ And I’m like, I’m not the one that brought it in here.’ You know? Because as female athletes all we are are judged based on everything except the game we’re playing. We’re being judged because we’re women. We’re being judged because we’re gay. We’re being judged because we’re black. All of these political things are being brought to us and that’s how we’ve had to find our way in this life, in this WNBA-trying-to-be-a-business life. We’ve had to battle that. It’s never just been about basketball for us. Then to kind of flip it now and tell us not to be political, quote-unquote?
“By the way, obviously we all know this is a moral issue. These are people’s lives, the women in our league, this is directly impacting them. This isn’t some trying to get a policy that’s going to help someone’s pocket or something like that. This is direct, their lives are affected.
“It really kind of hit me one day. Who is anybody right now to tell us as female athletes to just stick to sports? We’ve actually tried to do that. Nobody would let us. And so here we are, standing up for ourselves, which is something that’s very natural for us at this point. And now, oh now, we’re the one bringing the politics in? That’s my take on that. It’s ridiculous.”
Bird also appeared on MSNBC at the beginning of the month to discuss and defend her political efforts opposing Sen. Kelly Loeffler who is part owner of the Atlanta Dream after her comments about less, not more politics in sports.
‘We tried, you denied’ seems to be the tune of Bird and other WNBA members as they continue to support and go hard for the Black Lives Matter movement and let their voices be heard. With no expectations to back down and ‘stick to sports’ any time soon, we will continue to see the intersection of politics and sports more than ever moving forward.