WNBA Champion Candace Parker discusses her rise to become one of the most decorated female basketball players in history, and how she’s changing the game, on and off the court, for future generations of female athletes.
On the many contributions of Title IX: “I think so many times we look at Title IX as just sports or just things like that. But it's not about being professional in a sport. It's about learning the necessary skills to survive in the world … And so, by taking out an entire generation of our population and not equipping them with those skills from before 1972, and then being like, well, you have a fair shot at this in the workforce. That's not true. And so, Title IX, I would not be sitting here today if Billie Jean King, if Lisa Leslie, if they didn't pave the way so that other young girls would be able to have the skills to live in this world.”
On using her voice to promote social justice: “There are not a lot of me’s walking into rooms. And there are definitely not two or three … And so, if you don't have people that are different in those rooms, how do you start those conversations? How do you continue those conversations? … And so, I think for me just being a walking billboard of all the differences when we walk into rooms, like I mean I'm 6'4". There's not many 6'4" Black women that have a wife that are walking into rooms. And so, I think it's being unapologetic about it. I think it's being unafraid about it … But I think it is important when you are that only one, it is your responsibility to not always have to start those conversations. And I think it's people around you understanding that it is necessary. The burden is not just on us.”
On the importance of allies in the fight for racial and gender equity: “I always tell my brother this all the time. I said, ‘I can scream about women's basketball all I want. But if you say it, if you say that women's basketball is valuable, women's basketball is important and it's fun to watch, it's way more powerful than if I say it.' So, as allies, sometimes it is more powerful if our allies step up and do some of those causes and have some of those conversations.”
This episode was recorded on June 13, 2022