A Conversation with Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx Head Coach and GM, on Media Coverage and Bias
By Jason Lisk
On Monday, I wrote a post in response to an article on Forbes about the number of men in media being the problem in women’s basketball coverage. Cheryl Reeve, the head coach and GM of the WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx, wrote the below response, disagreeing with some things I had written. I reached out to Coach Reeve and she agreed to come on and do a podcast interview where we could discuss differences of opinion, see where we agreed, and go deeper on issues that she sees in the coverage of women’s basketball.
Among the things we discussed:
- early conditioning of boys and girls in sports, and how media also has an impact on that conditioning;
- the different types of media and how they impact coverage and can do things differently, from ESPN to local media;
- discussion of what people watch and how UConn drives the highest-rated women’s games despite complaints about blowouts;
- a discussion on the conflict between promoting something that may not immediately drive traffic and the pressures on media;
- the biases that impact editorial choices on what to report on;
- how can readers who are interested in a topic that they feel is underserved, like women’s basketball, effect change?
- Coach Reeve’s discussion on being tired of comparisons and complaints from fans about the WNBA and NBA;
- A discussion of the challenges of WNBA rookies going from college to pro in a few weeks;
- Her philosophy in dealing with a very successful veteran core, while trying to balance maintaining the team for the future: “our group of Lindsay (Whalen), Seimone (Augustus), Rebekkah (Brunson), those are our older players, our commitment to them is until ‘the wheels fall off’ for them, until they can’t go anymore. We always want them to be a Lynx. Now, we are able to kind of feel like we can keep the window of opportunity open because our two superstars at this point are younger, Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles. Sylvia’s in her early 30’s and Maya is 28.”