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Mike Francesa doubles down: Hiring woman coach would be ‘publicity stunt’

03.06.17 at 5:07 pm ET
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NY PostMike Francesa allows that females can be CEOs and perhaps even the president. However, the WFAN icon will not concede that a woman has the capability to be a head coach in the NBA.

Digging in further after his controversial comments last week, Francesa used his opening monologue and then five friendly callers to assert that women coaching professional basketball players is an impossibility. Where others may seen misogyny, Francesa believes he sees reality, doubling down on claims that a female coach would be eaten alive by male NBA players.

“There’s no saying that everybody has to do every single job. Some are better for some people. That’s all,” Francesa said Monday, after he told a father of a daughter Wednesday that the caller wouldn’t see a world in which women coached men at the highest level. “That’s not being chauvinist. That’s not being stone aged. That’s just being reasonable. … It is difficult for men to run these rooms.”

Francesa cited the fact that there are zero women coaching men at the collegiate level, extrapolating from there that a woman who would rise up the ranks at the professional level would not have the resume needed to demand players’ respect. He pointed at the latest Knicks drama, in which Carmelo Anthony questioned the adjustments Jeff Hornacek has made, and said that if Hornacek can’t be blindly accepted by players, neither can a woman.

“I have no problem with women advancing in business, they have every right to do and they will do it as well as men, maybe better,” Francesa said. “Same thing with politics, we’ve seen that. … In male sports at the highest level, running young athletes, bringing them along on the college level, coaching them, teaching them, disciplining them, trying to turn them into a cohesive group, is probably harder now, with all the trappings we have, then it’s ever been before.” 

“…That would be a very tall order for a woman. That’s not an unreasonable statement,” Francesa said. “… I don’t see how that in any way is stone age. If it ever happened, I don’t think it would be anything more than a publicity stunt, I don’t think it would last.

You are not going to change Mike Francesa’s mind on this, or anything really because he is always right.

As I wrote last week, there are currently no women next in line for a head coaching position on the NFL, MLB, NBA or NHL level, but that’s not to say there won’t be one day. Right now it’s unlikely a woman can be a head coach because there just isn’t a female candidate up for the job.

Because of this, if a team hired a woman right now it would be a publicity stunt of sorts because she would only have been hired because of her gender. So, again, Mike is sort of right. If an NBA team hired Becky Hammon right now, that would be a publicity stunt. However, it’s not out of the question she could be a head coach someday.

But Francesa said “if it ever happened” meaning even if it happens in the future it would be a publicity stunt. And that is sexist. As is saying a woman in a head coaching position wouldn’t last.

I have to admit, when I think about a woman leading an NFL team, for example, and her being in the locker room and doing everything that comes with coaching professional male football players, my first thought is similar to Francesa’s: it is unlikely to happen and if it did it wouldn’t last. The reality of it is there would be some players who would refuse to listen to a female head coach and would not respect her as they would a male coach. It would be difficult.

But I don’t think it’s impossible for a woman to be hired as a head coach in the future and I do think it could work. Especially in the NBA. The first female head coach on this level will likely be in the NBA, which, unlike other sports, has a female equivalent in the WNBA. 

It’s obvious why Francesa thinks women can succeed in business and politics but not in coaching professional sports. Sports is the last male bastion and, again, Francesa is a traditionalist and a former athlete who would have been one of the greatest baseball players of all time if he didn’t have bad knees. He considers himself the king of sports and talking about sports and he doesn’t think women should be involved in coaching his very close athlete friends. 

I love him, but if you are actually offended by something Mike Francesa says or ever take him seriously about anything, listen to his show for five minutes. You will soon realize he is the authority on nothing. Half the time he doesn’t fully know what he’s talking about and sometimes he doesn’t even know who he’s interviewing.

And always remember he is a hypocrite (and possible embellisher/liar):