March 19, 2014 by Charlie Eisenhood in Livewire with 17 comments
Kyle Weisbrod left this comment on my article about why USA Ultimate should work with the pro leagues. While we clearly disagree, he makes a very good case:
[quote]One thing that list of players doesn’t include: women. Say what you will about whether or not the MLU and AUDL will increase the number of women playing in the short term, one thing is clear, the pro-leagues value men’s Ultimate at a significantly higher level than women’s Ultimate.[/quote]
[quote]This gender equity is a hard thing for some people to understand – it’s about how you value women and women’s sports, not just about increasing women’s players in the next couple of years. It’s focused on the long term, not the short or medium term. And it’s about changing the culture of sports and creating a significant differentiator for Ultimate in a way that matches longer term societal changes (which will be great for the sport long term). It’s also about creating/maintaining a part of the culture in the sport that makes it awesome to be a part of, where everyone’s participation is valued.
A similar point can be made about player-control. There’s quite literally nothing stopping the semi-pro leagues from putting out a product that is more marketable, consistent with what USAU has indicated that they will support, and better for the sport long term in both culture and growth.
This article could have (and should have been): “Why Pro Leagues Should Work with the USAU Values.”
Now, here’s the thing. Charlie indicates that the next Board election will be important – and it’s true. But here’s what’s also important – if you believe that the sport would be better served if the pro-leagues align with USAU’s values, you should let the MLU/AUDL know. And, more importantly, you should withhold your money until they do – because that’s how you vote in the world of for-profits, with your money.[/quote]