Fans have expressed their feelings on an expansion of the WNBA on several occasions however nothing has been done.
Sarah Bennet, a small forward on the University of Toronto Varsity Blues said before the Raps big win, female sports was never a topic of discussion. But now she said it is pretty frustrating that it took a male team to win in Toronto for women to get attention.
“I believe female athletes don’t need the Raptors to help them get a WNBA team. It should be our own doing,” said Bennet.
Bennet is hoping that the WNBA coming to Toronto will cause more coverage on women’s basketball seeing that there isn’t much.
“It’s sad because there’s a lot of hype around the Raptors but no one really knows about WNBA or even the Canadian women’s basketball team,” said Bennet.
Bennet said women’s basketball has the potential to be as exciting to watch as men’s basketball. She says having a WNBA team come to the city would make basketball more accessible for young women to achieve their goals.
According to the official WNBA website, the NBA Board of Governors approved the concept of a Women’s National Basketball Association back in June 1997. The WNBA is celebrating their 23rdanniversary this year.
Given WNBA’S historical success, Christina Buttenham, a McMaster University Marauders basketball player acknowledges the high expectations that come with Toronto getting a WNBA team.
“It is essential that young women are exposed to the opportunities available to them in sport,” said Buttenham.
Buttenham said there is a great product out there in terms of basketball and that media outlets need innovative and creative ways at marketing the sport.
She said that if women’s basketball was more accessible, these young girls would be the potential viewers of WNBA.
Hayley Robertson, a point guard on Ryerson University Rams feels having women excelling in a sport and competing at a professional level is important to see. She said she has been playing basketball for 15 years now, seeing the sport gradually excel.
Robertson said that in men’s basketball there is a ton of one on one play that you don’t see in WNBA. She said women’s basketball players use different techniques than men but they have the potential to be just as good.
“Men sports isn’t the same style play but having women’s sports is something familiar to look up too,” said Robertson.
“Having female athletes who are strong, confident and bold with different body types is important for young girls to look up too.” said Robertson.
She said it will inspire young girls to see females who look like themselves and to get out there and make a change.
These university athletes feel like if now isn’t the time, there won’t ever be one.