Rachel Nichols has become the female face of pregame and postgame NBA coverage on ESPN. She's good at her job, and one of the reasons is she asks tough questions.
This question is tough, too. And fair.
From Nichols' Twitter (@Rachel__Nichols): "Why wasn't Ruth Bader Ginsburg honored by the NBA this weekend? In a league that absolutely holds equality as a core value, the icons of that equality can't only include those who helped the men we see on TV, but those who paved the way for the women who work right alongside them."
Simply put, this question should be expected when you turn your product into a platform for certain causes and issues. Because there are always going to be people and directives that you exclude.
After taking a high-profile stand on Black Lives Matters issues, the NBA is being called on the carpet for not honoring arguably the biggest champion for gender equality of the last 50-plus years. And rightly so.
If your cause is equality, then RBG was a champion who should be celebrated, but fighting sexism is not as celebrated or hip as fighting racism, I suppose.
(Side note: It will be interesting to see if the NBA reverses course and does something similar to what the WNBA did in honor of RBG with a pregame video over the weekend before a playoff series. In some ways, though, reversing course will only continue to open the window for complaints about not supporting this cause or honoring that notable person.)
This comes on the heels of the revelations that some of the Pittsburgh Steelers are having second thoughts about the name they chose to put on the back of their helmets after learning he was shot by police after being wanted in a drive-by shooting. The cop was later tried and found not guilty in the death.
Whether it's selecting this angle of equality over that one or honoring a name without all the facts, ultimately the only way to avoid these dubious distinctions and the slights they produce is to keep the uniforms uniform.
For goodness sake, the NBA universally honored Kobe and praised him for being a "Girl's Dad." (Side note: As a proud Girl Dad, shouldn't that be the baseline of what we do as dads? Man, it's a strange time when we make the baseline look like something special.)
But when the court became a conversation piece on NPR and the jerseys became billboards for commentary, well, you better get ready for questions about this cause or that honoree.
And that will be now and forever, as long as the uniforms are not uniform.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.