Social media has few formal rules, but many unwritten ones. Perhaps the most prominent of these is that correction can mean castigation, especially if the corrector is a female athlete.
It began with a tweet from former rap artist turned cultural critic and podcaster Joe Budden. He’s been live-tweeting his takes on the engaging ESPN documentary series on the Michael Jordan/Chicago Bulls dynasty “The Last Dance.” When Budden was noting the look back at the 1996 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Seattle Supersonics (remember them?), Budden echoed the sentiments of many in the Emerald City who saw their franchise move from Seattle to Oklahoma City in 2008. His tweet on the segment said, “Seattle deserves a basketball team.”
More than a few fans took exception, noting that just two years ago, a Seattle pro basketball team won a championship — The WNBA’s Storm. Stewart, the 2018 WNBA Finals MVP, reinforced that point with just three words.
It was a simple statement of fact. It could have just ended there, but it didn’t. Just like in April.
One week after the WNBA held their landmark virtual live draft, NFL insider Adam Schefter tweeted that the NFL Draft was the first “real live sporting event” since the coronavirus lockdown. Those who make it a point to dismiss the WNBA did so again.
Many took a tone such as this:
I think he means one people actually want to watch— Limited Jest (@LouietheBlonde) May 11, 2020
Stewart’s simple, factual response generated over 1,100 tweets. Storm fans and supporters did outnumber the trolls in many respects. Some stated that they felt Budden meant no offense, but took exception to those who used the moment as a license to offend.
Luckily we have an amazing one!!! pic.twitter.com/u7ERSlDQD8— archie fünke (@archietheshycon) May 11, 2020
Tryna drag the WNBA, the kitchen jokes that have been recycled so many times. Yall don't get tired of using your energy on that? I don't believe Joe meant any disrespect, but you do..for what reason— Lebranthony Javis (@TheRichRawlings) May 11, 2020
Stewart didn’t respond beyond the initial tweet, but one of her teammates and Budden barbequed some “Twitter beef.” Storm guard Jewell Loyd, the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2015 and the heir-apparent to legendary point guard Sue Bird, challenged Budden, and he responded in kind.
@seattlestorm. Come see for yourself , I dare you to come practice with us. I want that match up— Jewell B Loyd (@jewellloyd) May 11, 2020
I’ll dunk on you, i accept your offer!!! https://t.co/7Sb2IbZakq— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) May 12, 2020
What do you think? Are you Team Budden or Team WNBA? Tell us in the comments!