ESPN’s Nine for IX documentary “Branded” debuted this week, and the film took unnecessary jabs at the looks of a few male athletes.
The documentary focused on the inequality between male and female athletes when it comes to pay and sponsorship opportunities. The thesis was that looks matter for female athletes, but they’re not as important for male athletes.
At one point in the film, former star women’s basketball player and current Phoenix Mercury president Ann Meyers Drysdale was talking about the issue and made a comparison.
“Whether you like it or not, if you don’t show it, how do you get people to come? Remember that it’s a part of selling this whole thing. I think basketball needs to change their uniforms … not look like guys in what they’re wearing,” Meyers Drysdale says.
“There is a double-standard with women. Believe me, there’s a lot of guys that are not very good-looking guys that play sports. And they get to make a lot of money because people concentrate on their ability to play.”
There was nothing wrong with what Meyers Drysdale said. Few would disagree with her. But it’s what the filmmakers did that was out of line.
As they played Meyers Drysdale’s comments about unattractive male athletes playing sports, images of basketball players Chris “Birdman” Andersen, Shelden Williams and Joakim Noah were shown. They really went out of their way to make a statement there, because Williams isn’t even in the NBA anymore. The former Duke star played in the league from 2006-2012, but he spent last year in France. Williams also happens to be married to Candace Parker, who is considered to be attractive by most observers. There are also several people who find Noah attractive, same with Birdman.
But your opinion of the looks of each player is irrelevant; “Branded” did not need to show any male athletes to prove a point. Meyers Drysdale’s comments would have resonated just as well without disrespecting the looks of certain men. That was a totally unnecessary shot.
H/T Nick WrightGoogle+