Women’s history month is already off to a cringeworthy start in the NBA, with the Toronto Raptors paying tribute (their version of one) to women all over the world. Growing up a huge pro wrestling fan, I’ve seen some bad scripts in my day, but this one takes the cake. Whoever wrote this script needs to be drop-kicked repeatedly. Include the person who approved this script and subsequent filming of the following video.
The fact the NBA is having teams acknowledge women in March is great, but how about putting actual thought into what you’d like players to say on camera? Obviously, Fred Van Fleet and Pascal Siakam decided to skip this tribute video. Either they saw the script and said, “Nah, Ima sit this one out,” or Scottie Barnes, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn drew the short straws.
These players look so uncomfortable and awkward in this video which begs the question why the Raptors chose to post this so quickly? This was the equivalent of breaking a news story without all the facts just to be first. They couldn’t wait even a full day before fumbling the month away. Something so simple winds up going down as a comical moment that could have been avoided with a bit of patience. Or any idea of anything women do well other than having children.
As Emily Leibert wrote over at Jezebel: “I can’t stop thinking about how, out of a bench of 17 players, these were the best responses the team could come up with. What on earth did the other players say that was so…insufficient that the video had to be edited to a mere 13 seconds with these three as the shining beacons of cis male ally-ship? I demand to see the cut footage, the bloopers.”
And if you’re wondering, the Raptors removed that video quick, fast, and in a hurry. Goodness, gracious. Great job, Raptors; you’ve ruined Women’s History Month.
Updated March 3: The Raptors have apologized.
“We’re an organization that prides itself on doing the right thing when it comes to inclusion and representation, and we made a mistake (Tuesday),” a statement from the team to The Tortono Sun reads. “Our sincerest apologies to our players, our staff and our fans – we’ll work to do better today and every day after.”