LeBron James is not one to shy away from weighing in on a controversial topic. Whether it’s the politics of the United States of the politics of the NBA, James speaks his mind.
James’ latest statement was addressing the notion of a female coach in the NBA. If a woman was qualified for the job (a high standard to meet for any person, no doubt), James could see no reason why she shouldn’t be hired. Not only that, he felt that the players would heartily endorse it.
But is this statement even controversial? Men coach women and girls all the time. Staying with basketball, six coaches in the WNBA are men. And in women’s college basketball, Gino Auriemma has overseen the dominant UConn Huskies for over 30 years.
The reverse, however, is rare. In 2017, there were only three female varsity basketball coaches out of 342 programs in the Chicagoland area. It certainly isn’t a question of qualifications. The U.S. produces many great women’s basketball players, who no doubt would make excellent coaches.
Sports like baseball and football, which have fewer female players, feature even fewer female coaches. But does a coach need to have played a sport at a high level to be an effective coach? Why else would there be a reason that women cannot coach men and boys?
What’s Your Take?
Take 1: Women Can Coach, but Boys Benefit from Male Coaches
Women can quite clearly make effective coaches, just look at legends like Pat Summitt. But boys benefit from male coaches who understand what it’s like to be in their shoes. Men who played a sport at the high school varsity or collegiate level can also offer guidance to young boys about how to make their way up that ladder. Those paths don’t exist for women in sports like baseball and football.
Take 2: A Coach is a Coach
Who cares what gender a coach is? Women can have just as much knowledge as a man about any sport, even if they haven’t played the game at a high level. Women also can offer a different voice to young male athletes than they might be used to. It also sets a good example for boys to follow about how to respect women as they get older. A person’s gender should not appear on his or her list of qualifications for a job.
What do you think? Is there an argument to be made against women coaching men or boys? Or are we way past that notion as a society? Have your say in the comments below.
From GameChanger and Todd Kortemeier
Coaches can have a great impact on young athletes. Check out what coaches had to say about the best advice THEY ever received from a coach here!