Women's Month: Celebrating and empowering women

Published March 26, 2021, 1:00 PMRenee Ticzon

Before March ends, NBA.com Philippines features some of the league’s Women’s Month initiatives that aim to honor women and their contributions to the community.

NBA Official Danielle Scott was one of the women featured in the league's Women's Month spotlight.
In a world that is so divided by hate, the impact of empowerment is often undervalued. It’s important to use your platforms to fight for what you believe in, to inform and educate, and to make everyone listen to what you have to say. Empowerment brings power back into your hands, and focuses the conversation on what really matters.

While people struggle to find this power in a world of privilege, the NBA and WNBA have found importance in uplifting those who need it. Because of the success of both leagues, their reach and influence have gone beyond the borders of the United States and Canada. The voices of players, coaches, and teams have been louder than they have ever been.

As seen previously during Black History Month, the NBA and WNBA are determined to keep the important conversations going. As the world celebrates Women’s History Month this March, the league filled the weeks with different activities that seek to empower, celebrate, and put the spotlight on women.


A few teams have shown their support for female voices in basketball by featuring all-female broadcast panels. 

The Toronto Raptors were happy to host a special game last Thursday against the Denver Nuggets. It’s not because Fred VanVleet wanted to outscore Nikola Jokic; it’s because the game was commentated by women who made history. They became the very first all-female broadcast team in a regular-season game.

“We wanted to highlight the contributions that women make individually – across so many broadcasts – by bringing them all together,” said John Wiggins, Raptors vice-president of organizational diversity and inclusion. “Yes, we’re making a point. We hope this leads to more recognition of the many roles women play in pro sports.”

The broadcast was led by play-by-play broadcaster Meghan McPeak and basketball analyst Kia Nurse, a Phoenix Mercury guard and Canadian National Team member. On sideline duties was sportscaster and anchor for SportsCentre on TSN, Kayla Grey. Kate Beirness and Amy Audibert hosted the show and provided analysis.

On March 28 (PHT), the Sacramento Kings will have a coverage team that features women and non-binary broadcasters. Krista Blunck, an announcer, analyst and reporter, will be in charge of the play-by play, while former WNBA player Kayte Hunter will be the analyst. Veteran broadcaster Laura Britt will head the pregame and postgame show along with Layshia Clarendon, a WNBA All-Star and New York Liberty guard. Morgan Ragan will be running NBC Sports California’s Twitter account.

“It is critically important to provide opportunities and pathways for more diverse voices to be included in the industry while also highlighting the incredible ones working in sports currently. As a father, I have seen firsthand the positive impact athletics can have on the next generation and it is my hope that all young people see themselves as having a place in sports,” said John Rinehart, Kings President of Business Operations.

Similarly, the Golden State Warriors announced that their game on March 29 against the Chicago Bulls will be called by female veterans on their radio station, 95.7 The Game (KGMZ-FM). The Warriors will have Kate Scott, a longtime Bay Area radio and television personality, and Mary Murphy, an analyst covering college basketball and the WNBA. 


As part of the women’s month celebration, the league featured several female personalities in the sport, including NBA officials. Danielle Scott, for instance, talked about her love of officiating and how she gained courage and confidence as an NBA referee.

Several teams also recognized and celebrated women in their organizations. 

The Miami Heat published on their website an interview with Chelsea, one of their dancers with an exceptional story. Chelsea was working as a Heat Dancer when she decided to attend law school at St. Thomas University. 

In her narration, she mentioned how her decision was met with a lot of criticism. People told her that she needed to drop one responsibility to focus on the other because she was spreading herself too thin. Instead of getting demoralized by the comments, Chelsea doubled down and worked even harder. She took various internships, continued her dancing career, studied for her bar exams and eventually passed. Because of her determination, Chelsea is currently a Miami Heat Dancer AND a lawyer in Florida.

Meanwhile, the New Orleans Pelicans created a video featuring all their female leaders and staffers from front to back end. They showcased the important roles of women from fan engagements, ticket sales, and all the way to corporate partnership and finance. Swin Cash, Pelicans Vice President for Basketball Operations, said it best while cradling her baby: “We are women making history, even while working from home.”


Known for their powerful involvement in social advocacies, the WNBA kicked off their 25th anniversary by launching the “Count It” campaign in time for Women’s Month. Here are some of the initiatives that fans can look forward to for the 25th season:

  • The W25 will select and honor the league’s greatest players on and off court. These women will be chosen based on their impact on the game of basketball and their contributions to the community.
  • The WNBA 25th Season Advisory Council was established to help generate innovative ideas on how to grow women’s basketball for the players and fans. The council is composed of women’s basketball pioneers and WNBA legends.
  • The WNBA Social Justice Movement, established prior to the 2020 season, will continue to work on fighting racial and gender inequalities, promoting LGBTQ+ rights, and championing systemic reforms, among others.

The San Antonio Spurs hosted earlier today a webinar entitled “Ladies Leading the Leagues: A Conversation about Empowering Women in Sports” in partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance. It focused on conversations about women and their roles in a male-dominated sports industry. Chrysa Chin, Executive Vice President for NBA Strategic Engagement and Development was one of the panelists.

Overall, the NBA and WNBA both found unique ways to celebrate the women who have been vital to the league and the sport. Whether it’s implementing programs for women in their organizations or simply repping their favorite WNCAA players, NBA teams have also shown their support for women running the show.

Just a few days left in March, but expect women in sports to continue shining and making an impact on the industry, while fighting for gender equality and inclusive rights for everyone. After all, an advocacy does not end in the month when they are celebrated.