Is there any profession other than sports where an employer could talk this way about hiring a potential female employee?

April 3rd, 2013

Dallas Mavericks¬†owner Mark Cuban would be willing to give Baylor women’s star Brittney Griner the opportunity to prove she could play in the NBA.

Cuban said he would consider selecting Griner, a 6-foot-8 three-time All-American and Big 12 player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft. If the Mavs don’t draft her, Cuban said he would have “no problem whatsoever” inviting Griner to try out for a spot on Dallas’ summer league team.

“If she is the best on the board, I will take her,” Cuban said before the Mavs’ Tuesday night game against the¬†Los Angeles Lakers. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.”

If the owner of a group of all-male employees spoke this way about hiring a talented female employee, lawsuits would be filed so fast heads would spin. Yet, in athletics, it doesn’t matter.

“She’d still have to make the team,” Cuban said. “I’m not going to carry her just to carry her. I don’t think, anyways. But I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to giving her the opportunity.”

Cuban acknowledged that Griner playing in the NBA’s Las Vegas summer league would have tremendous marketing potential.

“It would, wouldn’t it? See how she could do?” Cuban said. “That’d sell out a few games.”

My gosh. Hiring a female employee for the purpose of selling tickets. Can you imagine this statement made in any other context?