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Bill O’Reilly agrees with Mike Francesa about women not being able to coach men’s teams

03.10.17 at 11:41 am ET
Bill O'Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa's back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Bill O’Reilly, pictured here with President Donald Trump, has Mike Francesa’s back. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

On his radio show last week, WFAN host Mike Francesa said it would be “impossible” for a woman to coach a men’s sports team. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly agrees.

In a segment Thursday with HBO “Real Sports” contributor Bernard Goldberg, O’Reilly defended Francesa’s logic –– though he slightly misconstrued the Sports Pope’s words.

“I don’t disagree that women can coach a men’s basketball team. Twelve players … it could happen. He was talking about baseball and football and I agree with Francesa, it would be almost impossible on a number of different levels for that to happen,” he said.

Francesa wasn’t just talking about baseball and football, however. He made a blanket statement about women coaching all men’s sports teams.

“Do you know how difficult it would be on a female to have to manage 25 men? Or 50 men? Do you know how impossible that would be?,” he asked. “It wouldn’t be tough, it would be impossible. You’re gonna tell me that you would think a woman would walk into an NFL team and coach as a head coach 15 assistants and 50-60 men?”

A caller pressed Francesa on whether he thinks former Tennessee women’s coach Pat Summitt, who won eight champions with the Lady Volunteers, could’ve coached men. He said no.

“NBA? No,” he said. “She would have said, ‘I don’t belong there.’ But she could not coach an NBA team, nor would she even wanna try.”

This week, Francesa expounded on his take, saying he thinks it would be a publicity stunt if a men’s team hired a female coach. That’s an asinine statement to make, considering there’s nothing worse for a franchise’s publicity than a losing season. Seemingly no club would sacrifice on-field or on-court success for the sake of a short-term PR boost.

That’s not to say Francesa’s argument doesn’t have a kernel of truth to it. It probably would be difficult for an accomplished female coach to be in charge of a men’s team –– just because of its unprecedented nature. There isn’t a single woman coaching men at the collegiate level, and in the NBA, there are only two female assistants: WNBA great Becky Hammon with the Spurs and two-time Olympian Nancy Lieberman with the Kings. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Women have risen to the highest levels in other male-dominated fields. Why not sports?

Naturally, after briefly addressing Francesa’s claims, O’Reilly and Goldberg turned their attention to a familiar target: the liberal PC police.

“(They) will punish you if you’re not PC enough and that’s what’s happening here,” Goldberg said.

Francesa, who reportedly makes $5 million per year, is almost certainly not being punished. In fact, his ratings have probably increased as a result of this episode.

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