Throughout human history, the patriarchal system has been socially constructed which bestow privileges on the male gender to dominate women in diverse ways both structurally and ideologically. Some may erroneously interpret this system of dominance as a man being the villain and a woman as the victim.
Significantly, this has to do with how our society has been formed and how our culture has shaped the way people perceive gender roles. In today’s society, women are gradually challenging the status quo. As women have succeeded in becoming more educated and driven to take up challenging roles in diverse fields, they are also breaking into the male-dominated sports industry.
These women in the modern sports industry are doing well in setting the bar for many women of the next generation. Without a shred of doubt, women are doing competitively well in the world of sports management but more often than not they are placed in positions as assistants or something else. One is curious to understand why these women have not received the same opportunities for career advancement as their male counterparts.
Even though with the advancement women have made throughout history, very few have risen to the top of sports organizations. One notable woman who has risen beyond all odds to lead a sports organization to make history is San Antonio Spurs’, Becky Hammond.
Who is Becky Hammon?
She became the first female in NBA history to direct a team after San Antonio Spurs head coach Greg Popovich was ejected during their regular-season matchup with the 2020 champions Los Angeles Lakers at AT&T Center. As enormously gifted as she is, Becky is a six-time WNBA All Star who earned various accolades during her 16 years playing career and later became the first woman to hold a full-time coaching position in NBA history and for the San Antonio Spurs franchise.
She became the first woman to be part of an All-Star coaching staff in 2016. Within a year after he joined Spurs as an assistant coach, she became a head coach but was short-lived since it was only in the Summer League. Her appointment informed other teams to expand their coaching staff by engaging more women in the league. Hammon’s passion for the game cannot be underestimated.
During her playing days at New York Liberty and San Antonio Spurs in the women’s division, she was acknowledged as one of the best point guards the WNBA has ever had in the division. Her ambition and eagerness to succeed in this male-dominated sport inspire countless women and girls who aspire to leave a legacy in the NBA.
Achieving a milestone that shifts the NBA coaching paradigm Becky Hammon rose to stardom when she finally broke the glass ceiling as the first female head coach in NBA history since its inception by James Naismith of blessed memory 74years ago.
Becky has worked so hard to attain this feat although she virtually had no idea as to when that faithful moment would arrive, but thanks to the experienced Greg Popovich who recruited her to join the franchise. “People say I broke the gender barrier, but really, Pop did that. Pop believed the right person should be hired” Hammon expressed to reporters how head coach Popovich has appreciated her craft.
Many NBA players, as well as enthusiasts, congratulated Becky Hammond for making history the sporting organization. The reigning finals MVP LeBron James expressed his excitement and said “It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking outcalls, barking out sets.
She’s very passionate about the game. Congrats to her and congrats to our league.’’ This feat was much predicted by many ever since Becky joined the league.
Pau Gasol who won back-to-back championships with the Los Angeles Lakers projected in 2018 that Becky Hammon has the potential to coach almost at the level of the NBA’s male coaches.
Having more women in the NBA to reduce male dominance has been one of the visions of Commissioner Adam Silver.
In 2017, he expressed to the media his duty to ensure gender balance in the NBA. “There definitely will be a female coach in the NBA. We are focused on a woman being a head coach in our league.
I’m very confident this is going to happen at some point”, the Commissioner said to the media in 2018. Today, there are about 11 female assistant coaches as well as 5 female referees in the NBA. The NBA now has a new look where women are serving in diverse roles to create gender balance in the running of the beautiful game.
These women now serve in various capacities as referees, personnel in the broadcasting booth as well as being part of the front office executives and to the extent as franchise owners. A very good look at a female franchise owner is Jeanie Buss, the controlling owner, and president of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Basketball is a genderless sport and unlike some years ago where no woman was actively involved in the running of the game, there’s now a sigh of great relief as the paradigm has been shifted to a more balanced one.