Give the Mystics the attentions they deserve

Alexander Diaz-Lopez

Last month, the Washington Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun to win the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Championship. Just two weeks later, the Washington Nationals secured the World Series Championship by beating the Houston Astros. The two victories are equally significant and should have been celebrated with the same level of excitement, but instead the Nationals received exponentially more praise. 

While the Nationals were able to enjoy their victory with a parade on a Saturday that drew thousands to the Capitol, the Mystics were met with a much smaller crowd in a two-hour rally on a Friday near their new stadium, the Entertainment and Sports Arena. 

The Mystics fought just as hard as the Nationals, but much of it went unnoticed. The Nats’ win received far more coverage than that of the Mystics. The Nats’ victory made the front page of the Washington Post; the entire team was invited to party with the former Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals, and they visited the White House. 

Additionally, while Nats fans were given a two-day notice about their parade, Mystics and DC sports fans were not even given a full day’s notice about the rally since the event was announced and scheduled a day after their WNBA championship triumph. It was later announced that the Mystics would have a parade in the spring. The aftermath of the Mystics’ win was rushed, leaving their impressive win undercut by a lack of organization and soon overshadowed by the Nationals’ World Series victory. 

Several Mystics players couldn’t even enjoy their win—not by choice, but because leaving town to play basketball overseas is a necessary source of income. It’s awful that the Mystics couldn’t get a parade right after their win, but worse still is the circumstance behind it: gender inequity. 

While, the average Major League Baseball salary stands at $4.36 million, the highest-paid female athlete for the Washington Mystics, Emma Measseman, earned only $117,500 this season. 

Many people and organizations are at fault for the gender inequity that pertains to women’s sports. Women’s teams don’t get as much investment as men’s teams, so support for them is also lacking. Today, the WNBA pays less than 25 percent of its earnings to its athletes. However, the NBA pays its athletes about 50 percent of its revenue. 

Additionally, the average attendance for NBA games stood at 17,987 in 2018, the average attendance for WNBA in that same year was 6,712. Ultimately, we are to blame for this. It’s time to start caring about women’s sports equally. 

It is imperative that we celebrate and acknowledge the Mystics just as much as we did the Nationals. Even though the Mystics aren’t having a parade until the spring and we might think that a parade that far in the future won’t have as much fanfare since their victory isn’t as fresh, the responsibility lies on us as DC sports fans to attend the upcoming parade to commemorate what these talented women pulled off: bringing a national title to DC. •