Brittney Griner, abortion access and a day at the beach at home



away game

All eyes are on Brittney Griner: After nearly five months of being “wrongfully detained“, the world’s attention is on the American WNBA All-Star as she is judged in Russia. Let’s not forget why the best offensive player in the league was away in the first place.

The story

In the United States, the average NBA base salary would be $5.4 million, or nearly 45 times more like the WNBA average of $120,600. Result: about half of the players spend their off seasons abroad, to earn extra money. In February, as she has for several years, Griner was travel to russia play with the UMMC Ekaterinburg team, when she was arrested and detained – a the week before the country invaded Ukraine. Many have speculated that if it had been Steph Curry Where james lebron instead, American outrage would be off the charts. But this answer was cut for Griner.

Why this?

American female athletes are not the same weight – or media coverage – as male athletes. Reminder: the door for women in sport only really opened Title IX in 1972. (And there are still a long way to go.) Not to mention, the WNBA didn’t even exist until 1997. Today, the league attracts a fraction of the average NBA viewers and in-person crowds, according to ESPN. Women’s teams play 46 fewer games per season than men’s, which means fewer opportunities to win fans. Or the kind of fame that translates into lucrative endorsements. All of this ends up affecting how much female basketball players, even All-Stars like Griner, can be paid.

Explain.

The WNBA works with a lot less income. The league does not publish exact figures, but a sports economist estimates it’s about $70 million. (For perspective, that wouldn’t even cover the combined NBA salaries of LeBron James and Steph Curry.) Still, the WNBA is trying to make progress: In 2020, it reached an agreement with the players’ union for wage increases and new benefits, such as paid maternity leave. And this year, it raised $75 million in hopes of changing its business model – and turning its athletes into “household names”. But that probably won’t change the fact (at least, for now) that many players will still have to rely on working in foreign leagues to supplement their income.

theSkimm

Griner’s situation highlights how American female athletes are viewed and paid unequally. Everyone Could Do More: The WNBA. Corporate sponsors. And the audience. If you’re outraged, go to a game. Or watch one on TV, starting tomorrow, when the league holds its 2022 All-Star Game – which Griner would like will surely play inif she was home.

PS: We know more about Brittney Griner — from why she was arrested to the latest with her lawsuit — here.

Eyes On: Access to Abortion

ICYMI, President Joe Biden yesterday took action to protect access to abortion. He blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and called on voters and Congress to do more as well. Then he signed an executive order this:

  • Directs HHS to find ways to protect access to abortion drugs and emergency contraception nationwide.

  • Tasks the same agency with educating people about potentially awkward situations with authorities — since doctors and patients in some states are afraid of being prosecuted or charged with crimes.

  • Convenes volunteer attorneys to provide free legal representation and help navigate new restrictions.

  • Calls on the FTC to find ways to protect the privacy of people seeking reproductive care information online.

TBD on how this all plays out in practice. Anyway, some say it doesn’t match what they had hoped (think: setting up clinics on federal land). But Biden said lasting change would have to come from Congress. And the voters.

bookmarked

Here’s a look at the readings we recorded, texted and emailed to our friends…

Family recipes carved in stone. Tombstone, that is…a new trend of taking favorite recipes to the grave.

The ubiquitous look that invaded the homes of a generation…a deep dive into curved chairs, velvet accents and all things “millennial mid-century”.

Want closer friendships? Stay away from your friends… it turns out distance can make the heart grow fonder.

Break time

Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here is an idea to make the most of your weekend.

Nothing screams summer more than lazy days by the sea. But most people can’t get to the beach every weekend. So here are some ways to recreate that feeling at home.

First, find the perfect sunny spot, whether it’s in your backyard, your local park, or on your rooftop. Bonus points if there’s water nearby – and don’t forget to apply Solar cream. Then, dress up in your simplest, airiest beach look (think: a high waist swimsuit, some chic sunglassesand a good sun hat). And pack everything you need for a day of fun in the sun, like a blanket, an outdoor speaker and, of course, a picnic with your favorite snacks. Don’t forget to bring entertainment, like an outdoor game (tip: pickleball is popular for a reason) or a bingeable track playback. Because, follow summer rituals can tide you over until the next time your toes hit the sand.

Skimmed by Rasheeda Campbell, Xian Chiang-Waren, Melissa Goldberg and Clem Robineau