Yesterday the WNBA hosted its first ever game in Canada. It was a preseason game, an exhibition game basically, and it sold out in TEN MINUTES. Faster than the Taylor Swift concert in Toronto, is what I heard on the broadcast. The merch stand said they needed five times more inventory than they had; they were out of orange swag before the game even started. So keep that in mind when I show you what else happened in the W yesterday, after the Indiana Fever beat the Dallas Wings, and the 2019 All-Star Game MVP Erica Wheeler gathered her friends, family, and teammates all around her so that she could propose to her girlfriend Danielle (because when you know, you know).
Natalie shared this video in Slack last night, so it was the first thing I saw when I opened the app this morning, and I was sobbing before I was even fully awake! Thinking about how the WNBA is one of the most influential sports leagues in the entire world, and how little kids — and grown women and men, and grandmas and grandpas, too — simply cannot get enough of these basketball players! Thinking about how hungry folks are for W content, and how these players have been changing hearts and minds for over two decades now! Thinking about how the world, and professional sports especially, are still such hot beds of homophobia, and how much courage it takes to come out, and how it takes even more courage to gather everyone you love together and ask them to celebrate your queer love! Thinking about the reactions of Erica Wheeler’s teammates, parents, and her coach, Christie Sides, who just wraps her up in the biggest hug and holds her there and says over and over how proud she is.
The scabby kneed, scraggly, scrawny little girl inside of me couldn’t believe what she was seeing! These would have been my idols when I was a kid (if the WNBA had existed when I was a kid), and seeing this video would have changed the shape of my entire life! I’ve seen a lot of WNBA engagements and proposals and babies, but never anything like this! Come for the swooning, stay for the singing!
Oh, Erica Wheeler! Thank you for sharing your love with us! Congratulations to you and Danielle! I wish you forever and ever love and the wedding of your wildest dreams! Also: You’re on my opponent’s fantasy roster next week, please don’t destroy me!