Week 284 (23 - 29 March 2019)
With her Oregon Ducks team heavily leading their Indiana competitors in the NCAA college basketball tournament this week, Sabrina Ionescu forfeited a three-pointer as the clock wound down, in order to reach double digits for the number of points, assists and rebounds – otherwise known as the triple-double.
By missing the hoop but hitting the back board, Ionescu was able to make the rebound she needed and improve her stats. On paper, this feat made her the highest achieving college basketball player of all time, with 18 triple-doubles, six ahead of the men’s record holder.
Despite her achievement, however, she remained frustrated due to the lack of attention women’s performances receive compared to the men’s game.
This week, Ionescu pointed a finger at ESPN, which airs the tournament on US national TV. She blasted the sports network after her successful game saying, “It’s awesome to get a triple-double in the tournament. Probably still won’t get recognised because ESPN never recognises women in sports who are getting triple-doubles.
“But I am just happy that I was able to do it in front of the home crowd and everybody supporting me.”
This is not the first time ESPN has been put under fire. During the Women’s Final Four in April 2018, the Guardian reported, “We scrolled and we scrolled to the point of exhaustion. Among the dozens upon dozens of headlines about male athletes, we spotted only three stories about women.”
Ionescu has definitely seen and done enough, and wants change. And as the likely number one draft pick for the WNBA, she is likely to be taking advantage of the platform she has built for herself for some time to come.
By speaking out about the inequality of women’s sports coverage, Ionescu has attracted worldwide coverage: Guardian
Ionescu has already smashed eight triple-doubles this season and if she continues to do so in her senior year, she will have more than a double-digit lead over second place, opening up a new dimension of supremacy.
Sabrina Ionescu is at the top of her game and for her speaking out against the media for inequality in reporting, she is JTA Communicator of the Week.