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Video: WNBA Legend Rebecca Lobo Details Sexist Comment from Ref While Coaching Son | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

Written by on May 18, 2024

Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

WNBA legend Rebecca Lobo detailed an exchange in which a referee made a sexist remark while she was coaching her son’s AAU team.

Lobo said she voiced her opinion, “probably too loudly” in her words, when she thought the refs missed a foul call. After she was assessed a technical, one of the officials approached her to say her player had slipped, to which she again disagreed in what she described as a relatively calm tone.

Per Lobo, the referee responded by telling her: “This is a grown man’s game. This is not a women’s game.”

Rebecca Lobo @RebeccaLobo

Been coaching my son’s basketball teams for the past six years. Something new happened today. It wasn’t awesome. pic.twitter.com/buL6rJNKT9

The audacity of saying this to Rebecca Lobo of all people is one thing. The 50-year-old was a national champion at UConn, a member of the United States’ gold-medal squad in the 1996 Summer Olympics, and enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Lobo has also worked for ESPN since 2004.

There’s also the sexist worldview the referee’s remark represented. Women have been playing basketball in some form since the 1890s. The WNBA launched in 1997. Women’s basketball first became an Olympic sport in 1976. The inception of the AIAW, a precursor to the NCAA running women’s college sports, predated that by a few years.

Basketball has in fact been a “women’s game” for multiple generations, and based on the viewership trends, it’s going to increasingly become a “women’s game.”

Lobo’s story is nonetheless an example of the struggle women around basketball at any level continue to face.

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