You Go McKenna
Not to be crass, but, come on, that name just invites sophomoric comments. Right? According to the company website, the founder was a gentleman named Dick Stack. Isn’t “Stacks” a better name? Or, the current CEO is Stack’s son Ed. How about “Eds”?!?
Perhaps we should borrow a page from J.K. Rowling, and go with The Sporting Goods Store that Shall Not Be Named?!?
Yeah, I like that one.
But I digress, because I want to tell you about McKenna Peterson.
Meet McKenna. She’s a 12-year old from Arizona, and she’s got an issue with TSGSTSNBN. What’s McKenna’s issue? Well, she picked up the latest edition of the TSGSTSNBN catalog, only to find that all of the women were relegated to the background.
In her own words, from a letter that her father posted on twitter:
There are NO girls in the catalog! Oh, wait, sorry. There IS a girl in the catalog on page 6. SITTING in the STANDS. Women are only mentioned once in the catalog on page 5 for some shoes. And there are cheerleaders on some coupons.
Why is this a problem for McKenna?
It’s hard enough for girls to break through in this sport as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalog. Girls buy stuff from your store. In fact, my last two pairs of basketball shoes were purchased at Dicks, as well as my hoop and practice equipment.
And her parting shot?
Maybe my dad will take me to some other store that supports girls to actually PLAY basketball and follow their dreams and not sit on the sidelines and watch the game to get my next pair of shoes and equipment.
That she ends her letter with “Sincerely, McKenna Peterson, The Fabulous Basketball Player” is just icing on the gender equality cake.
Because here’s the thing. Tertullian would have us believe that athletics is the domain of men. That it’s only Lebron James, or Leo Messi, or Peyton Manning, that deserves our attention, adoration, and emulation.
So good for McKenna for not believing Tertullian’s lie, for being perceptive enough to see the subtle, almost hidden message she was being fed, and for speaking out against it.
According to the CNN article, at first TSGSTSNBN responded with a disappointing form letter. Later, they called, and McKenna’s father reports that:
They said that they liked her letter and that in future publications they will consider putting more women in the catalog. They also pointed us to a commercial that they are running that apparently has a girl in it. It was a very nice conversation that McKenna re-stated her opinion that there needs to be more girls represented.
McKenna, don’t let them off the hook.
Let’s hope that someday, thanks to McKenna, more than “the season” will start with TSGSTSNBN.
Want a better slogan? How about
“Gender parity in sports starts with TSGSTSNBN.”