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Is Mavericks’ class for women sexist?

Dallas Mavericks Fans Watch Game Six

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 12: Dallas Mavericks fans celebrate at American Airlines Center after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals on June 12, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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A majority of of NBA fans are men. So targeting women just seems like smart business.

But how the Mavericks are doing it is questionable – and I mean that in the true sense of the word, not hinting at wrongdoing.


NBA 101 for women is an annual event hosted by Mavs players, coaches and staff. It’s an opportunity for women to learn and understand the fundamentals of basketball in a fun, light and interactive atmosphere.

This women-only event, held at American Airlines Center practice court and locker room, provides basic instruction on topics including offensive and defensive sets, coaching strategy, as well as a Q&A session with a player and behind the scenes information about workouts and life on the road.

Get the inside scoop on the Mavs, learn about the game of basketball, and meet some of the Mavs coaches, staff, and players.

Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo Sports aggregated and amplified the criticism of this event and how the Mavericks promoted it.

I don’t see major problems

Is “Hey girl, hey” a little patronizing? Maybe, but I think that’s more a problem of trying too hard to be trendy rather than being degrading.

Was there a good reason to include pink rather than team and neutral colors on the event’s webpage? Probably not, but I’m not going to make a mountain of that molehill.

Sports teams outreach to women has far too often been wildly inappropriate. I think some have just come to expect sports teams to cross the line, so they looked for reasons to take offense in the Mavericks’ class.

The Mavericks didn’t say women are the only group that needs basketball lessons. Of course, plenty of men would become better fans by taking this course. But for some women, it can be more inviting to learn the sport in a women-only environment. This is directed to them – not all women.

That seems fine to me.