Stephen A. Smith Called Out Draymond, ESPN, And Himself For Needing To Do Better By Women’s Sports

Draymond Green has never been shy about speaking his mind, but he’s recently put his foot in his mouth on a couple of occasions when speaking about the push for fair and equitable pay in women’s sports. Green was first taken to task by Megan Rapinoe and others on Twitter after a lengthy thread in which he showed how he’s clearly missed the mark with his comments. Green later double down, saying women need to stop “complaining” and put together a plan, which once again showed his ignorance on the issue as women like Rapinoe have long presented ideas, facts, and paths forward to provide more equity to women’s sports.

On Thursday, Green faced criticism for those comments from a somewhat unlikely source. Stephen A. Smith became the latest to call out Green for being uninformed on the topic, but also pointed to himself, ESPN, and just generally men in the sports world as the biggest part of the problem, rattling off facts and numbers to show where the interest in women’s sports really is.

As Smith notes, even during the pandemic when sports TV ratings as a whole have dropped, women’s sports, and particularly the WNBA, have seen them jump. He notes that all of us who are men in the sports space have a responsibility to step up and be advocates, not just passive observers, in bringing women’s sports more to the forefront. He points out how ESPN holds fault as well, noting that they were more likely to show women’s sports highlights for games where Kobe Bryant was in attendance, and that he likewise needs to do better in shining light on women’s sports with his massive platform.

Hopefully he does that, and it was nice to hear him shout out his women colleagues at ESPN who helped him with the research and pointed out a lot of these things for the segment. That he’s listening to them is a good step, and hopefully one that he’ll follow through on. For now, it’s an important message and one that hopefully will land with a wider audience given who it’s coming from.