The relationship between the WNBA and Mattel's "Barbie"
doll was examined by Barbara Kingsley of the ORANGE COUNTY
REGISTER. Kingsley: "Barbie, a symbol to some of image
enslavement, meets the WNBA, the league that represents the
beginning of female empowerment through professional
athletics." Janice Rocco, President of the L.A. chapter of
NOW: "It's unfortunate that's the image they're using.
Women can be attractive and feminine, which certain women in
the WNBA have proven. Women as role models help women to
aspire to a healthy image. Barbie is not a healthy image."
WNBA President Val Ackerman argues that Barbie's "image has
changed," along with "the perception of women." Ackerman,
noting "achieving" dolls such as doctor and astronaut
Barbies: "Now pro basketball is one of those. We're proud
to be a part of that." Women's Sports Foundation Exec Dir
Donna Lopiano: "Barbie is perfect in showing that we're in
the midst of change. Anything heading in that direction is
good." Kingsley: "Barbie is good business. To the WNBA,
Barbie is a symbol of broader marketing for the league and
bigger bucks" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 2/23).
NOTES: The ABL's '99 All-Star Game will be held on
Sunday, January 24 at the San Jose Arena. All-Star Weekend
festivities will again include a slam dunk contest and
three-point shootout (ABL)....USA Basketball elected the ABL
and WNBA into active membership, bringing its total active
members to 15. Active members have voting representation at
meetings of USA Basketball Congress (USA Basketball).
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner told Murray Chass of
the N.Y. TIMES that MLB's search for commissioner is "a
charade. We don't need it." Steinbrenner advocates Acting
Commissioner Bud Selig and MLB COO Paul Beeston to remain in
the top two spots. Steinbrenner said, "Beeston can't want
to stay much longer. I don't want to lose him. He's great
for the job." Steinbrenner, on Selig becoming MLB's CEO
while maintaining ownership of the Brewers: "That wouldn't
bother me at all. He's the most impartial guy in the world
when it comes to his team. Put it in the hands of Selig and
Beeston and let's get on with it. Forget this phony
commissioner search" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/22).