"If Muggsy Bogues could play in the NBA, then why shouldn't women be allowed?" asked the guy across from me. "Are you telling me that Muggsy Bogues is better at basketball than Lisa Leslie?"
What had begun as an already depressing discussion concerning the legitimacy of women's MMA had somehow come to this. Some coworkers around me had begun to debate whether there should be more cross-gender competition in professional sports, since evidently nobody cared about the women's leagues. While certainly no one wanted to see Brock Lesnar beat up Gina Carano in the ring, I personally felt that, if Serena Williams wanted to enter the men's tournament at the US Open and was able to qualify, then she should be allowed in. My feelings were somewhat different, however, when it came to team sports.
The guy did have a point about Muggsy Bogues and Lisa Leslie. The 5' 3" Bogues would be considered short in civilian society, yet he was able to compete at the highest level in a sport of giants. He worked well with the diminutive frame he'd been given, but even though he was the same gender as the 7' 1" Vlade Divac, surely they were nowhere close to being in the same division physically. Lisa Leslie, at 6' 5", should theoretically have been more a peer than Bogues for the average NBA player.
Yet when the dude posed the question, the first thing that came regrettably to my mind was that awful John Travolta movie, The General's Daughter (1999). I decided not to bring it up, however, for fear that I might have had to explain it, in case nobody else had seen it.
Um, I suppose I could humor a Battle of the Sexes involving Serena Williams and some male tennis player, but whom? The best male, or just some scrub like Taylor Dent? If the latter, I don't think I could treat it as anything other than, "can the best woman beat any scrub of a man?" And that's not interesting or even ethical!
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