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Volume 26 No. 208
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NBA's Focus On Hiring Women Can Be Seen In All Areas Of The Game

Celtics assistant Kara Lawson is one of a record 11 female assistant coaches in the NBA this year
Photo: NBAE/getty images
Celtics assistant Kara Lawson is one of a record 11 female assistant coaches in the NBA this year
Photo: NBAE/getty images
Celtics assistant Kara Lawson is one of a record 11 female assistant coaches in the NBA this year
Photo: NBAE/getty images

The NBA has a new look in which "women's footprints are directly impacting every aspect of the game -- from broadcasting booths, to officiating, coaching on the sidelines, front-office executives to ownership," according to Kyle Hightower of the AP. Celtics assistant coach Kara Lawson is one of a "record 11 women serving as assistant coaches in the NBA this season," while WNBA Seattle Storm G Sue Bird and former WNBAer Swin Cash are among the many women "working in NBA front offices." The women who have "broken into the NBA ranks are garnering respect from players for their experience and basketball knowledge." NBAers have been "treating the feedback" from women in the league with the "same reverence they give their male counterparts." Cash said that she "believes the NBA is realizing having more women is important to growing the league's overall brand, business and bottom line." Broadcaster and former G League assistant coach Stephanie Ready said that a "big factor in the opportunities women are getting are coming because the younger generation of NBA executives." Ready said that the "new crop of hiring managers are doing a better job of recognizing what women bring to the table and as the older generation retires, it will get even better" (AP, 10/17).

OPEN DIALOGUE: CBSSN examined the state of women's sports on its "We Need To Talk" program last night, where the net's Summer Sanders asked, "How can we level the playing field" for female athletes? Sanders: "What does equal pay look like and how do we get there? ... Are we celebrating and valuing female athletes the way they deserve and how do we keep them safe?" Former USWNT MF Brandi Chastain said of women's sports' growing popularity, "It's about this concerted effort by women everywhere to decide to stand up and to say, 'This is what we do, this is what we're great at. We're not going to be sorry about it.' We're going to put it out there and we keep doing that in a way that has forced attention to it and what's happening is, people are like, 'Oh my gosh, why didn't I love this for the last 20 years?'" CBSSN's Tracy Wolfson noted a "group of advertisements have come together to form #seeher, a movement to improve portrayals of women in advertising and media." Wolfson: "Their motto is, 'If you can see her, you can be her.'" Wolfson added that the organization behind the #seeher movement provided the following statistic that said 84% of sports fans are "interested in women's sports," but only 4% of "sports coverage involves women's sports." Outside of the Olympics, Wolfson noted only 0.4% of sponsorship money "goes to female competition" ("We Need To Talk," CBSSN, 10/16).