June 22, 2005, - 9:07 pm

When WNBA Players Attack: WNBA’er Article Vs. Me in Arizona Republic

By Debbie Schlussel
The she-males in the WNBA sideshow just can’t take it. First, I received a “creative” . Now, it is Mercury player Kayte Christensen, who is so bothered by my , she’s written an anti-Debbie-Schlussel-anti-WNBA column in the Arizona Republic.
But apparently Christensen needs to go back to school to learn how to read. She claims that I take “credit away from a female trying to succeed in a man’s world.” I do? Where? In my anti-WNBA column, I give credit for Danica Patrick for doing exactly that. How many WNBA players play against men? Well, that may be a trick question, because there actually may be a lot of male WNBA players–based on appearance, anyway. But I refer to real men in my column and point out that the WNBA players do NOT compete against men, but whine for not getting equal pay, respect, attention, ratings, ticket sales, endorsements, yadda, yadda, yadda. If they wanted to succeed “in a man’s world,” WNBA players would try-out for the NBA and not have their own league.
Christensen also defends her teammate Anna DeForge, who had a lesbian relationship with her coach in exchange for more playing time, as a great role model for America’s kids. Sleeping with the boss to get ahead–great role model, Kayte. Puh-leeze.
Christensen is mad that women in sports are judged by looks when men are judged only on performance. That’s not really true–a female sports columnist wrote about her lust for LA Dodger Shawn Green’s “jewels” in the locker room, and Major League Baseball player Gabe Kapler was regularly praised for his muscular physique, more often than his baseball swing. But even when it is true, get a clue. As I, again, wrote in my column, sports is showbiz. Looks count. In men’s sports, men want to be them, and women want to date (euphemism) them. In women’s sports, unless you look like Anna Kournikova or Danica Patrick, there won’t be that dynamic–unless you count the lesbian audience, and you can’t build a sports league on that minute customer base. Sorry, Kayte.
Finally, Christensen claims that David Stern and the NBA are still supporting the WNBA after 8 money-hemorrhaging seasons because they want the league “to succeed in all realms, not just financially.” As in any business, there is only one measure of success in sports–the bottom line. If they want to be equal to the men, why do they demand a different yardstick to measure them?
Christensen joins another critic of my WNBA column, my cousin and aspiring teen columnist, Mallory Greitzer, who also critiqued the column in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Mallory’s was far better than Kayte’s, but Kayte and Mallory, thanks for spelling my name right.

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15 Responses

“How many WNBA players play against men? Well, that may be a trick question, because there actually may be a lot of male WNBA players–based on appearance, anyway.”
Alright, that line just made me spit coffee into my keyboard. You owe me 1 keyboard.

Preston Taylor Holmes on June 23, 2005 at 8:07 am

Some people have no business commenting on certain thing.. This is a prime example.. If you don’t care for the WNBA, why have you been talking about it? That’s my question… She must be fascinated with the talk about lesbians in the game.. If not, why bring it up? If you don’t like the WNBA, shut up and talk about something else.. Like why you even bother writting anything. But you know what? Thank you for giving the WNBA some attention by trying to bring attention to yourself..

ps5pede on June 23, 2005 at 11:56 am

Debbie shoots!, she scores!
Whaddya mean Debbie has no “business” commenting “on certain thing”? As much as the pinko lefties try, this is still America with freedom of speech, isn’t it? I love Debbie’s “writting” just fine.
Now, this is why I don’t care for the WNBA. Kayte Christensen said, “Our fans attend WNBA games because they want to see a fun, exciting style of basketball in which women are being displayed in a positive light.”
I’m watching the Detroit Pistons beat the San Antonio Spurs tonight and I’m not watching to see Ben Wallace or Tim Duncan be displayed in a positive light, I’m watching to see Ben Wallace put out the Spurs lights.
Oh, yeah, Anna DeForge, great way to display the “womyn” in a positive light.
Christensen stated, “This is why NBA franchises, Commissioner David Stern, WNBA President Donna Orender and team owners are willing to lose money while giving this league a chance to succeed in all realms, not just financially.”
Uh, huh! So it’s THE MEN who are keeping this modern day Titanic afloat, huh? Why doesn’t this so called league get the patron saint Oprah, Rosie O’Donnell, Susan Sarandon, Madonna, and the other women with all their millions to fund the WNBA?
Yeah, this WNBA turkey looks like it’s on the road to success in all realms as long as you don’t count TV ratings, attendance, and well, it’s giving someone a warm feeling I guess

Jeff_W on June 23, 2005 at 8:50 pm

Look Lady
I am sick and tired of reading your stupid stories of when you continuously diss Anna Deforge. Anna is the nicest person ever and I have NEVER thought of her to be a bad role model. My definition of a bad role model would be Debbie Schlussel.When I was Mercury junior reporter in 2003, I interviewed Kayte Christensen, Lisa Harrison, and Anna Deforge. In the lockerroom after the game Anna had so many interviews and finally after a while had time for herself. But she took some time to answer as many questions as I wanted to ask her. Not only that, she joked around and made me feel less nervous. Anna is an excellent role model for anyone because she worked so hard to get back into the WNBA and now she’s one of the leading scorers for the Mercury. Just because your stuck writing stories for your shitty website don’t diss Anna because her job is more fun. I can’t wait til I am a journalist just like you so I can write stories about how STUPID you are. Oh Debbie, I have a surprise for you! For being a great role model..oh wait thats Anna sorry, I meant for being an ass hole, I decided to take some time and fix your ugly picture..don’t get me wrong, the job was really hard because I had to make it so good. Ok are you ready?!?!
I Mercurtized you! Now your picture doesn’t look scary! You look great in that Anna Jersey 🙂
Oh yeah I would like to say one thing to Anna!
Anna-Don’t listen to her! Your the greatest role model ever! I never forgot how you stopped what you were doing to take questions from a junior reporter especially with the late notice! It was a great experience Thanks!
And to Kayte because her story was awesome!
Debbie you might want to consider a Mercury game, they are soo fun! You don’t know what your missing!
Sharon Ringstaff
Former Junior Reporter
P.S. Its so insulting how you didn’t reply to the 2 emails I sent you! Man I took some time to email you!

Sharon Ringstaff on June 25, 2005 at 11:03 pm

Let me give you your first scoop…Debbie has cooties, chews gum while writing her columns, and says Brittney Spears is a bimbo.
Nice pic of the new Debbie, but you forgot the horns and should have painted a “kick me” sign on her.
I’m glad you put mean, ole Debbie in her place! You are going to be the new Molly Ivins or Cokie Roberts.

Jeff_W on June 26, 2005 at 1:40 pm

Haha I thought the Anna Deforge Jersey was enough. Plus with the look on her face you can already tell she’s the devil without the horns.
I’m just so sad Debbie hasn’t commented on my work! Just kidding.

Sharon Ringstaff on June 27, 2005 at 12:31 am

Hey Debbie Guess what!! People are writing into the AZ Republic in full support of Kayte’s article..looks like your going down!! What are you going to write next? Hey you should write a story about my Debbie Schlussel artwork! Put some rumors about me in there!! That sounds like fun doesn’t it!? You haven’t dissed a Mercury fan yet! Oh yeah and I’m still waiting for those replies…

Sharon Ringstaff on June 28, 2005 at 2:34 am

Debbie wrote:
“But I refer to real men in my column and point out that the WNBA players do NOT compete against men, but whine for not getting equal pay, respect, attention, ratings, ticket sales, endorsements, yadda, yadda, yadda. If they wanted to succeed “in a man’s world,” WNBA players would try-out for the NBA and not have their own league.”
Hey, nice job pulling that one out of your ass. I happen to be a huge WNBA fan and I don’t know of a single WNBA player who has EVER asked to be payed like the players of the NBA. Sure, they have had collective bargaining disagreements, but they just want to get FAIR pay, not equal pay. And in case you were wondering, fair pay is about 1% of what most upper tier NBA players make. And what do you think about Latrell Sprewell, who makes multi-millions yearly and has notoriously complained about the amount of his paycheck, citing that he “has a family to feed.” Now either he was “whining” like a girl, or he has thousands if illegitimate children, which I am inclined to disbelieve. In fact, I have never heard a WNBA player “whine.” About anything. Ever. And I’m positive you haven’t either because I doubt you’ve ever given them a chance.
I would also like to point out, since you so rudely did not respond to my first e-mail, that every domestic player in the WNBA went to college for at least four years and to my knowledge all of them have a college degree. Danica Patrick did not complete high school. I’m not saying that Patrick is not a good role model, but saying that WNBA players are not is just pathetic.
And just where do you get off saying that women’s basketball is “not real basketball”??? If you want to watch basketball the way it is supposed to be played, the way James Naismith intended it, well, let’s just say you aren’t going to find that in the NBA, in which most games are just 48 minute long dunk and 3-point shooting contests. How about next time you do an article bashing what is truely “pure” basketball, you do a little research. How about calling John Wooden or Morgan Wooten, who are huge fans of the women’s game and two of the most prominent figures in all of basketball and talk to them a little bit before you go off and make things up again.
I have to say, I wonder what happened to you in the showers at gym class, because I have never heard of or met a woman as sexist as you are.

Wade Richards on June 28, 2005 at 6:44 pm

Well I guess Debbie’s job is to invoke emotion in others, which it appears she did with her story .
I just want to add that I think women like Anna and Kayte are great role models for young children . Debbie I would like to see a story on how much the little girls in AZ idolize the Phoenix Mercury and how awesome it is that they we are fortunate enough to have an WNBA basketball team to watch.
I see more fans at the Mercury games than I do at the soon to be defunct Coyote NHL Hockey games.
I can’t imagine WNBA players would “hold out” as the Hockey players have done, for money. Has anyone reminded the NHL players that they are not the NBA or NFL where fans would be in an uproar if they cancelled NFL games?
I have a 9 yr old daughter who I take regularly to the Mercury games. She has Anna DeForge and Diana Taurasi pixs in her bedroom along with Hillary Duff, Britney Spears etc. I would prefer she take the Britney and Hillary pixs down:)
My daughter can’t wait for the Mercury home games, and I must admit my boyfriend and I are huge fans as well. And anyone from my office that I take to the games for the first time, instantly become huge fans.
I know growing up in WI, I was fortuanate enough to have women athletes as my idols/role models and because of that, I was able to excel and focus on athletics in high school and college. That focus kept me from getting pregnant early and from staying away from some of the influences my peers were attracted to. It also gave me an unwavering self confidence that has carried me through the ups and downs of life.
In addition, my athletic experiences have given me the “Teamwork ” skills, and competitive edge and focus to run a successful business today.
I would not be where I am today professionally if it weren’t for the women “sports” role models I had growing up.
I would challenge any writer in AZ to do a story on the positive influences of women athletes for little girls in our society, and most importantly here in Phoenix.
I think the fan base for Mercury games is growing , but I still think the media are more concerned with writing about any negatives of the WNBA instead of promoting the team. Mercury games in my opinion are far more exciting than Diamondback games( yawn) or even Suns games.
I love the Suns but enjoy more the team style play that the WNBA players exhibit.
And who gives a ( sh t) about the personal lives ( past or present ) of WNBA players. Do you know how many NBA players are unfaithful to their wives/girlfriends? Does anybody care other than the “jilted” lover?
And anyone who has been with a women, knows that when women hook up, it isn’t about the sex or for additonal “playing time”. It is about things more on an emotional level that a women can’t get from a man. Come on Debbie you have had those thoughts before, admit it:)
My little girl is so fortunate to have Phoenix Mercury players to look up to and because of that, she is focused on becoming an athlete and also is motivated to play basektball regulary.
I am hoping that focus will deter her from focusing solely on her body image ( have you seen how many 16 year old little girls in AZ have breast implants?) and to feel good about herself due to having healthy competitive ahtletic events to compete in, and by having role models like the Mercury to give her that motivation.
Debbie, we are hoping your next story will be on the positive role models the Mercury are for little girls in Phoenix. That is our challenge to you .

Campbell43 on July 10, 2005 at 12:06 am

Dear Debbie,
Someone could disappear for years and return to see that not only have the things they learned at a young age become obsolete, but people, EXCUSE ME… um WOMEN.. are using or, rather, ABUSING their “supposedly” researched and , hm… should I refer to yours as “educated” opinion.. to openly behave as they did in 6th grade when the “tomboy” got the hot guy that the “supposed” popular girl wanted… I bet, in the end, it sucks knowing that that “tomboy”.. ended up dumping that hot guy that STILL did not want you..
However you grew up well, researched, and fairly bitter, after the decade of sex and the city shows, it is so very refreshing to know that the antics of a “not so attractive.. COULD be she male”.. were you not wearing lipstick and covering what look to be saggy breasts… is utilizing the opportunity to reach millions to DEGRADE and INSULT, an industry of athletes, who, REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION.. probably still make more than you.. and .. well could still have that hot guy.. even if they would rather have the hot girl.. who.. is probably your sister.
I expect that the tables being turned on you, and receiving insults to your rather bland, OLD , REHEARSED.. BITTER STRAIGHT WOMAN pseudo lesbian hater.. and DEFINATELY not an ATHLETE herself.. well, as I guess your a writer, not an ACCOMPLISHED PAID ATHLETE.. is pretty second nature.
I would take the time to edit all my twenty run on sentences… but in all honesty, I look forward to your petty , small, REHEARSED…hm… antics.. toward a STRAIGHT woman, who is just SICK of ANYONE’S sexuality being an issue.
the “notorious” B
*known and established due to hate of others like yourself*

rossi on February 11, 2007 at 12:01 am

you’re a fucking idiot.

tetraaa on February 14, 2008 at 8:58 pm

All I have to say is that I live in Sacramento and have the privilege of watching Kayte Christensen do a pregame and a postgame shows for the Kings and what I think is SO awesome about this woman is not only does she know this game of basketball inside and out but MAN, that woman is “Bleepin” HOT!!! MAN-O-MAN SHE’S A BABE!!!
p.s. Debbie Schlussel, don’t worry, your quite a looker too! BUT NOT AS HOT AS KAYTE, SO DON’T GET HAPPY, BUAAA-HAAA!!!

Mark Ryan on April 2, 2008 at 1:42 am

who cares wnba ? i love beach volley women ,, i hate wnba

jam on March 28, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Dear, your “musings” are entirely absurd, at best filled with unsteady logic, at worst a bucket of gynophobic bullshit.

How dreadful that the Internet allows for such disturbances.

Dr. Vivian Bell on July 14, 2011 at 11:42 pm

You’re a fucking cunt. The fact anyone cares for your opinion is quite astounding.

Chris on September 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm

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