Devereaux Peters is tired of men challenging her to play basketball against them. On Thursday, the Washington Post published an article, in which the two-time WNBA champion said she will never play random men to prove her basketball ability.
” I’m a tall woman, at 6-foot-2, and almost everywhere I go, people notice me,” Peters wrote. “The first question is: Do you play basketball? When they find out I’m a professional player, some are just impressed and want to know more about the life of a pro athlete. Most of the men I talk to, though, ask me to play one-on-one.”
Though the Mystics player understands the request is can be a form of “flirtation,” she’s aware it happens because “There’s something about basketball that activates men’s egos.” Either way, Peters is over the challenge.
She wrote, “I have been playing basketball my entire life, and for just as long I have been challenged by men who think they are better than me. I had to prove my skill in middle school against the boys who thought girls don’t play basketball. I had to prove my skill in high school when the guys’ egos were hurt because the girls basketball team was more successful and more popular than theirs. I had to prove it in college when grown men started challenging me to one-on-one games because there was no way this college woman was better than they were. Time and time again, I have trounced men – far too many to count. Now I have nothing to prove.”
In the remainder of the letter, Peters addressed how basketball is viewed as a male sport even though the WNBA has existed for more than 20 years; and how she wouldn’t risk her career to prove a point to someone at the gym.
The former Lynx player was commissioned to write the article after she posted a Twitter thread about gender issues in the sport on July 9.
We've all experienced it in person and ESPECIALLY online the "bet I can beat you one on one" man. I literally always respond, "you right" and walk away just like this ⬇️ ending the conversation pic.twitter.com/jGBtEDV9KC
— Devereaux *casual fan* Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.