NEW YORK (WFAN) — Mike Francesa said Tuesday that the reaction to his comments about women coaching men’s pro sports team is “ridiculous.”
Answering a question from a caller last week, the WFAN host said he believed it would be “impossible” for a woman to be the head coach of a men’s professional team.
The remarks have drawn criticism in the press for days. The New York Daily News ran a column with the headline “Hey Mike Francesa, stop spewing sexist garbage that women cannot coach men and just shut up.” Newsday published a column saying Francesa’s opinion reflected “stone-age thinking.” A Wall Street Journal columnist wanted to bet Francesa $1,000 that Spurs assistant Becky Hammon would become a head coach in five years.
Francesa again explained his rationale Tuesday by noting that there are no women head coaches in any division of men’s college basketball — more than 1,000 teams.
“Look at the landscape and see, in these sports, where the women are. There aren’t any anywhere,” he said. “That’s the point. There aren’t any anywhere. So what are we talking about? Why are we even discussing it? Because there’s nothing there. There’s so much work that has to be done before you can even make it a debatable issue. That will take years and years.”
Francesa added that his comments have been twisted in the press.
“I did not say anything inflammatory. I did not say anything derogatory,” he said. “I was specific about one thing, and that was coaching men on the highest of levels. That’s it. That’s all we were talking about. We weren’t talking about society. We weren’t talking about any other occupation. We didn’t talk about anything except that.
“So the reaction has just been ridiculous, it really has. But, hey, listen, you know what it is? People love to jump and create any issue that in any way can be turned into a social discourse. That’s where they take it. This is not about that. This is about something very, very specific.
“It’s just create a story, create hysteria around something that was in no way meant to be that. And it wasn’t that if you listen to it. But headlines, they scream.”
To listen to Tuesday’s segment, click on the audio player above.