WNBA Legend Dawn Staley Is A Leader Through And Through
Dawn Staley is a high-achiever. She was a national player of the year, national coach of the year, 3-time Olympic gold medalist, and is in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. But the head coach at South Carolina is making a big statement off the court now, trying to improve race relations and inequality.
“When we have an all-staff meeting, I’m one of two head coaches here that are black,” she told ESPN.com. “I would like to see us bridge the gap – because there is a gap, whether we believe so or not-within our athletic departments. I think athletics speak very loudly on college campuses. And if we can set the example of what it should look like, it will have some trickle-down effect.”
Racial tensions have boiled over in this country and the road to finding common ground is still a long way from being paved. As the leader of a team, Staley knows she has to be an example for her young players and tough issues must be discussed.
“These are conversations that we have to be able to have in our locker rooms, they’re necessary for all of us to grow socially and culturally,” she told The Players Tribune. “White players and coaches can expose ups to how they look at things, how they see the world, how they feel about things. And black players can expose them to what’s happening in our world.”
Staley, who proved herself as one of the best players in WNBA history, faced some controversy when her friend, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, tweeted that she supported an owner who took a shot at the Black Lives Matter movement. Staley was quick to respond.
“The ultimate division is packed in this tweet. We shall overcome,” Staley tweeted.
A leader on the court, in the coaching box, and in society – that’s Dawn Staley