Washington Post local news columnist Petula Dvorak often plays the identity politics card in her items for the Metro section, seeing things like racism and sexism everywhere.
And after a column boasting how it’s not the Nationals that unites The Swamp but a hatred of President Trump, she used her spot in Friday’s print edition to lament that the champion Washington Mystics have been shafted with a delay in their parade until spring (versus the Nationals one, slated for Friday) and the female football team D.C. Divas not having one at all.
Below the surface, however, some basic research should put to rest this outrage and thus problem #1. We’ll return to that shortly.
Dvorak’s column “The District of Champions forgot some champions: The female ones, of course” began by kvetching a tweet by the Washington Capitals account neglected to include the Mystics in listing recent D.C. sports champions, alongside the Caps and Nationals.
Amusingly, The Post’s editorial board also made this mistake, but Dvorak didn’t mention that until eight paragraphs after she wallowed in the Capitals’s mistake. So there’s problem #2.
Without evidence, Dvorak claimed that “some folks may have missed” the Mystics big win then went on a tear pushing sexism (click “expand”):
I, along with others, reminded them that they forgot one. It was just a couple weeks ago that the Mystics won the WNBA championship, right here at home, in an exciting series against the Connecticut Sun.
But some folks may have missed that. The women who also made franchise history with that win did not get a city parade like the Caps did and like the Nats will.
Most of them had to hit the road right after scoring the big win and head to their second jobs, so they held a modest rally at their arena.
WNBA players don’t make enough — the median league salary is $71,000, the league’s most valuable player earned $115,000 — to take the offseason off. They play in other leagues around the globe, and they didn’t have the pleasure of swimming in fountains.
But come on, y’all. We could’ve been celebrating, partying in the streets, uniting, strutting and whooping when our other pro teams brought home their championships.
It’s not real unless men do it? Puhleez.
She later concluded by pointing to the U.S. Women’s Soccer team and their legal case pushing for “equal pay” (click “expand”):
As a nation, we came close to getting celebrations right when the U.S. women’s national soccer team won the World Cup this year. They got the New York ticker-tape parade, the interviews, the fan love.
They still, however, did not get the pay that champions deserve. That case goes to court in May. But forget equal pay: They should make a truckload more than the men’s team. They win. The men don’t.
The Saturday parade for the Nats will be fantastic and well-deserved, and I’m sure that the Caps will help them party like Vikings.
But wouldn’t it be epic — a regular Mardi Gras on the Potomac — if all the professional teams that bring the titles home were celebrated?
Party on, D.C. For real.
Now, back to problem #1. Here’s the homework that Dvorak failed to elaborate on because, well, crying foul was easier. Keeping in mind that WBNA rosters consist of 12 players, a post on the SB Nation site Bullets Forever noted that seven Mystics players were slated to spend the offeason playing for teams overseas.
Of those seven players, two were starters for the champs in the deciding game and one off the bench (Emma Meesseman) was the WNBA Finals MVP. Therefore, it would be a shame if the team had a parade without any of those players and considering how small basketball team rosters are (NBA ones only carry 15).
In a statement a day after winning it all, head coach and GM Mike Thibault said on October 11 the parade would wait because “[m]any of our players have commitments to play internationally and some, including Emma, will have to leave town as early as tomorrow.”
If the team had cast those key contributors and their teammates overboard in favor of an immediate parade, one could bet a large sum of change that Dvorak would have penned a column crying sexism over what would have been serious snubs.