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Women’s sports are officially on the map, so let go of the ‘yas queen’ attitude.

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Women’s college hoops has made a significant impact on the big stage, surprising many who expected a soft focus Dove soap ad.

Issues of sexism and a tendency to racialize the sport have led to an ugly display of identity politics.

A recent LA Times article caused controversy by describing the LSU women’s team as “dirty debutantes” in anticipation of their game against UCLA.

The writer, Ben Bolch, compared the teams by asking, “Do you prefer America’s sweethearts or its dirty debutantes. Milk and cookies or Louisiana hot sauce.”

Amidst the backlash, Bolch issued an apology, explaining that he was trying to be clever with alliteration and was unaware of any negative connotations attached to the phrase.

LSU coach Kim Mulkey and guard Hailey Van Lith both criticized the article, Mulkey calling it sexist and Van Lith calling it racist.

Colorful LSU coach Kim Mulkey called out UCLA writer’s piece for sexism. Getty Images
LSU guard Hailey Van Lith took issue with the LA Times piece, calling it racist. AP

Despite the intent to create excitement around the LSU-UCLA matchup, the article stirred controversy due to its treatment of women’s sports.

The increased visibility and scrutiny of female athletes in sports highlights the need for equality in treatment, both in praise and criticism.

While female athletes should not be targets of abuse, they also do not need to be handled with kid gloves.

LA Times writer Ben Bolch issued an apology for his piece previewing the LSU-UCLA matchup. It was blasted as sexist and racist. @latbbolch/Twitter

Female athletes like Kim Mulkey bring attention, excitement, and controversy to the sport, challenging traditional portrayals of women in sports media.

While there are concerns about racism and sexism, there is also a tendency to overly focus on racializing the sport to an obsessive degree.

The future of women’s hoops lies at a crossroads, determining whether the sport and its athletes will be treated as strong competitors or delicate figures in need of protection.



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