Is Comparing Baylor’s Brittney Griner to a “Guy Playing with Women” Insulting?

| by Alex Groberman

On Tuesday night, Baylor superstar Brittney Griner led her team to an 80-61 rout of Notre Dame in the Women’s NCAA Championship game. As is typically the case when she plays, Griner was unquestionably the most dominant player on the floor at all times – eventually finishing with 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting, grabbing 13 rebounds and blocking five shots. Predictably, she was named the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the Women’s Final Four.

Unfortunately, because women’s basketball isn’t captivating enough to hold anyone’s attention for more than ten seconds, the story of the night wasn’t Baylor’s accomplishment or Griner’s amazing season. Rather, it was what Notre Dame head coach, Muffet McGraw, said in the postgame press conference.

On the topic of Griner’s impact in the low post:

“I think she's one of a kind. I think she's like a guy playing with women. It's just there's so many things that she can do that I've not seen a lot of women‑‑ well, really, you know, there's been some guards that had some skill like that. But as a post player she's the best I've ever seen.”

And here is a video of the whole thing (via Larry Brown Sports):

(Note: Tune in on tonight to the Bottom Line Sports Show as they talk all things NBA and NCAA hoops, and also have one lucky Draft prospect on to discuss what the future holds.)

Is comparing a dominant woman basketball player to a man demeaning? Is it out of line in any way? And if it is out of line, is it more insulting to the woman being compared to a man (for obvious reasons) or to women’s basketball as a whole (because it acknowledges what most people believe anyway, that men’s hoops is better)?

For what it’s worth, McGraw later came out and said she obviously meant what she said in a complimentary way. And while there is no reason to question that, the intent of the Notre Dame coach’s words doesn’t really matter in this instance. If people were to find her words insulting, they’d be insulting regardless whether she meant them to be or not.

(Kudos to Larry Brown Sports for the find)

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