ESPN Reporter Gets Bullied into Apologizing for Not Mentioning the WNBA Before NFL Draft


Here is an inarguable fact: Football is a bigger deal in North America than basketball.

Here is, somehow, an even more inarguable fact: The NFL is a much bigger, more significant deal to people than the WNBA.

For anyone offended about that sentiment, please produce the metric that would argue otherwise.

Anecdotally, it’s not even close. Ratings-wise, it’s not even close. Attendance-wise, it’s not even close.

Given all that, is outrage really an appropriate response if someone forgets that the WNBA exists?

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Apparently so.

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter was taken to the social media woodshed for failing to mention the women’s pro basketball league in his excitement about the 2020 NFL draft.

“For the first time in what feels like forever, a real live sporting event,” Schefter tweeted Thursday.

To reiterate, an NFL reporter was excited about the NFL draft. That should be one of the most innocuous statements of all time.

Of course, it’s 2020 and things are about as upside-down as they’ve ever been, so Schefter was attacked on social media for celebrating the biggest offseason event of the sport his job is based on.

Shahbaz Khan, director of digital content for the Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA’s Lynx, immediately pounced on Schefter.

“The network that employs Adam aired the WNBA Draft six days ago,” he said. “Media can easily continue to help grow the league. Stuff like this doesn’t do it any favors.

“We’ve got to do better. The W deserves it.”

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A.J. McCord, a reporter for KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon, wasn’t as forceful but still felt compelled to correct Schefter.

Zach Miller, deputy sports director of The Record and, took a snarkier approach.

If anyone were to ever make the case that Twitter is mostly a cesspool where people can humblebrag about how “woke” they are, this would be a premier case study.

Sadly, Schefter capitulated to the Twitterati and issued a superfluous apology, saying he was “caught up in the moment of the NFL Draft and forgot about the WNBA Draft from last Friday night. Sorry.”

To be clear, there may be an alternate universe where Schefter would have actually needed to apologize.

That would be a universe where the sports apparel site Fanatics would care enough to list the WNBA on its top-selling jerseys list.

Should Adam Schefter have apologized?

That would be a universe where the WNBA would be included when mentioning the “Big Four” sports leagues in North America.

That would be a universe where hardcore NBA fans who can tell you the difference between Bojan Bogdanovic and Bogdan Bogdanovic could rattle off who was drafted in the 2020 WNBA draft after Sabrina Ionescu.

Alas, this is not that universe.

And Adam Schefter shouldn’t have been maligned or been forced to apologize for forgetting something that most Americans don’t even give a first, second or third thought to.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
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