WNBA Evolution, NWSL, PGA Championship & UFC!
The 4%...It's what's on TV.
🚨 ATTENTION 🚨 THIS IS WHAT WE'RE WATCHING 🔜
As the 25th season of the WNBA continues forward, I want to talk a little bit about the WNBA’s LGTBQ+ evolution. When Sue Bird entered the WNBA in 2002, the league was just beginning to take small steps toward LGBTQ+ inclusivity. It’s pretty crazy how it took a decade for the culture to shift in a meaningful way and almost two decades for the WNBA to become the most socially conscious sports league in the U.S.
It’s wonderful that the league has taken such strong strides towards inclusivity and acceptance. This supportive path has allowed for a younger generation of bold and authentic players to enter the league and challenge the status quo. It allows players to be unapologetically themselves - something that should ALWAYS be encouraged.
We are nearly at the halfway point of the season and defending champions Seattle Storm are back at the top. The Seattle Storm are at the top of the standings with a 12-2 record and a good lead over the rest of the league. The Las Vegas Aces are right behind them at 10-3 and the Connecticut Sun, who were once on top, are now third at 8-5.
This weekend’s games:
Aces vs. Lynx - Friday at 8pm ET
Mystics vs. Wings - Saturday at 1pm ET
Liberty vs. Dream - Saturday at 7pm ET
Sky vs. Sun - Sunday at 2pm ET
Storm vs. Aces - Sunday at 4pm ET
Sparks vs. Mercury - Sunday at 6pm ET
NWSL week five has come and gone as we inch closer and closer to the chaos period of the Olympics. Teams are being more cautious with their national team players right now BUT that doesn’t mean the league isn’t incredibly entertaining at the moment.
Can Orlando keep its unbeaten season alive on Saturday??? They’re the only team in the league without a loss and are in first place by a whopping 15 points right now. Orlando faces Houston this weekend and I’m excited to see if they can extend their winning streak to eight!
In other NWSL news, Japanese soccer player Kumi Yokoyama recently announced they are transgender. A revelation praised in the U.S. where they play in the NWSL but an identity not legally recognized in Japan. The Washington Spirit forward said they feel more comfortable with their gender identity while living in the U.S. and teammates and friends are extremely supportive of their journey.
President Biden @POTUSTo Carl Nassib and Kumi Yokoyama – two prominent, inspiring athletes who came out this week: I’m so proud of your courage. Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today.
Five games on the docket this weekend:
Chicago Red Stars vs. Racing Louisville - Saturday at 2pm ET
OL Reign vs. Gotham FC - Saturday at 4pm ET
North Carolina Courage vs. Portland Thorns - Saturday at 7pm ET
Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride - Saturday at 8pm ET
Kansas City vs. Washington Spirit - Saturday at 8:30pm ET
Tune in to this weekend's NWSL matches Saturday on Twitch!
AND on the topic of soccer… the CanWNT’s Olympic roster is set! The team will be led by none other than Christine Sinclair (duhhhh) alongside 2020 Canadian player of the year Kadeisha Buchanan, Jessie Fleming, Quinn, Janine Beckie, Desiree Scott and goalkeepers Stephanie Labbé and Kailen Sheridan.
Women’s PGA Championship
Another weekend, another major. This time it’s the fourth of five LPGA majors, the Women’s PGA Championship. Reigning champ Sei Young Kim will be back in contention, alongside past winners Brooke Henderson (woooo go Canada!), Danielle Kang and 2020 LPGA tour event winners Nelly and Jessica Korda - both of whom are looking for their first major win.
There’s nothing quite like major championship golf and defending champion Sei Young Kim SHOWS UP under the pressure of the competition. When you look at Kim’s scores in relation to par since 2017, it’s clear she brings her A-game to the biggest championships in women’s golf.
Since 2017, Kim has recorded seven top-10 finishes in 20 major starts (including 14 in the top 20) and is a combined 71-under par in the majors since 2017, 16 strokes better than any other player in that stretch.
But of course I’m slightly biased so I’m cheering for my fellow Canadian. In the last five years, 2016 Women’s PGA champion Brooke Henderson is the only player who has managed to come from behind in the final round to win the championship (pretty impressive!). Let’s see how she performs in this year's championship!
UFC fans had a shock back in March when Julija Stoliarenko hit the deck TWICE before she even entered the octagon!
Like many combat sports athletes, Stoliarrenko had undergone extreme dehydration in the run-up to the weigh-in, leaving her highly susceptible to fainting. The fight was rescheduled and Stoliarenko will now face Julia Avila (AKA the ‘Raging Panda) this Saturday at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.
Stoliarenko was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 28, and is a former Invicta FC bantamweight champion.
Avila, who began her UFC career with two straight victories, including a 22-second TKO of Gina Mazany, will be looking to bounce back from her first UFC loss, a unanimous decision to Sijara Eubanks in September.
The two will be going HEAD-TO-HEAD on Saturday in women’s bantamweight.
Canadian Olympic Diving Trials
With the 2020 Olympics Games closer just a few weeks away, which athletes will be lucky enough to make the final cut for Tokyo? Diving Plongeon Canada is in the final stage of its Olympic Diving Trials.
Meaghan Benfeito was preselected for one of the the women’s 10m individual spots, but there are five other Olympic places up for grabs.
Women's 3M Semifinals - 5:30 PM
Women's 3M Finals - 8:35 PM
Women's 10M Semifinals - 6:40 PM
Women's 10M Finals - 9:45 PM
Follow the action in the 3M and 10M semi-finals next Thursday on CBC Sports!
Women’s Sports on TV Guide
Why the 4%?
Only 4% of national airtime is devoted to women’s sports. At The 4% our objective is to promote what, when, and where to watch women’s sports to help raise awareness and grow the audience for women’s sports on TV.