A SportsCenter "Sunday Conversation" today with WNBA legend Lisa Leslie, tailor-made for Mother's Day, focused on LA Sparks players in the role of moms. There are, according, to Leslie, five mothers on the team, who constantly share "mommy information." Leslie emphasized that her role as a new mother is a primary reason for her retirement from sports.
While the news peg for the story -- Mother's Day -- may have driven the focus, the problem with these kinds of features is that they ultimately weaken the image of female athletes in the sports context because these stories are often done to the exclusion of regular coverage of women's sports. We see far too many stories with this kind of angle -- female athlete outside sports. (Oftentimes, it's in a mode that presents athletes in sexualized images.) Although many female athletes are eager to be cast outside their athletic achievements, the more often they're shown off the court, the less credible they're deemed on it -- any day of the year.