Presumably because he has time on his hands, Gilbert Arenas is given to musing about things. Things like the WNBA and how to boost its attendance.
And, because this is Gilbert Arenas, you know where this is headed. The way to help the league is by sexing it up. A lot, to judge by a video of thonged women shooting hoops that Arenas posted, along with his thoughts, on Instagram:
“NOW this is what america was hoping for when they announced the #WNBA back in 1996… not a bunch of chicks running around looking like, cast members from #orangeisthenewblack…dont get me wrong,they have few #cutiepies but theres a whole alotta #beanpies running around hahahahahaha if #skylardiggins came out like this, I dont care if she missed every layup..imma buy season tickets and I dont even know where the [expletive] #tulsa is hahahaha #2016newwnbaoutfitPLS and if u think this is sexist,9 times out of 10 u the ugly one and we didnt pay to come see u play anyway #donkeykong …smdh #thiswillbeawesome #soldouteverywhere”
It isn’t as if this hasn’t been tried before. The International Boxing Association tried to force women boxers to compete in skirts at the 2012 Olympic Games, a move women successfully fought. They have the option of wearing shorts or skirts. Badminton did the same thing, only to call skirts optional after receiving blowback.
League spokesman Mike Bass issued the following statement to The Post on behalf of the WNBA and NBA:
“Gilbert Arenas’s comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong. WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world. They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”
Frankly, Arenas’s idea is straight out of the Sepp Blatter playbook, which pretty much tells you what a bad idea this is. The embattled FIFA head said in 2004 that a way to boost the women’s game was to stress “a more female aesthetic.”
“Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball,” he said then (via the Guardian). “They could, for example, have tighter shorts. Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men — such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?”
Of course, if Sepp and Gilbert were right, the Lingerie Football League would have thrived, wouldn’t it?