Warriors forward Draymond Green received criticism over a series of tweets he posted where he argued that women athletes are too focused on demanding better wages than they are trying to grow their game. He then doubled down on that sentiment Wednesday when speaking to reporters, saying he's "really tired" of hearing the complaints.
Green tried to expand his argument further with the idea that women athletes should put ownership and executives in positions where they have no choice but to give higher salaries out. He received some pushback from one reporter, NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke, who took issue with the notion that the women were "just complaining."
"I'm really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, b/c they're doing themselves a disservice by just complaining."— Kylen Mills (@KylenMills) April 1, 2021
Today Draymond talked about his Tweets about women's sports that received criticism from athletes like @mPinoe & @Layshiac @kron4news #DubNation pic.twitter.com/7iUQ982jx9
Here is what Green said to reporters:
"I'm really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, because they're doing themselves a disservice by just complaining. They're not laying out steps that they can take to change that. It's coming off as a complaint because the people that can change it are just going to continue to say, 'Well, the revenue isn't there. So if you don't bring in the revenue, we can't up your pay.' They're going to keep using that, but the reality is, as true as that is, it's an excuse. Because everyone says, 'We support women. We support women's empowerment. We support women in the workplace. We do this for women. We do X for women. Blah, blah blah. And everyone uses it to their advantage, yet these women are not using these people who are saying these very things to their advantage."
For what it's worth, baked into his commentary does seem to be some desire to see women athletes receive better pay. However, as US women's national team star Megan Rapinoe noted in her response to Green's initial tweet that sparked all of this discussion on March 27, there's an implication in the comment that women haven't been doing their part in growing the game, which is not true.
It also ignores the historic reality of the growth of sports in the United States, where each major league only grew to the heights they're all at today because of the heavy investment they received early on, even during periods of major losses.
The NBA, for example, grew in popularity when the league grew exponentially thanks to marketing Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird match ups -- with Michael Jordan later getting thrown into the mix. That was a decision that those at the executive level made -- it wasn't because the players all of a sudden decided to pull themselves up by their bootstraps to get more people to watch.
Just like with fights around all other social issues, change cannot be made if the only people who care about the change enough are the ones who are suffering the most from it.— Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) March 27, 2021
Green has a history of being outspoken, often offering his thoughts on issues involving player empowerment.
In February, he called out the hypocrisy in how NBA players and teams are treated during trade talks, noting that James Harden was demonized for sitting out until he was traded to the Nets, but the Cavaliers weren't held to a similar standard of when they decided they wanted to move on from Andre Drummond and benched him just before a game started.