There has been a microscope on the world of sports debate shows for the last couple of weeks. From the exchange between Stephen A. Smith and Monica McNutt, to one that he had with Andraya Carter, we’ve been zoning in on women’s basketball. How is the sport being covered, and who is properly equipped to cover it? Recently I touched on the microaggressions that men should be aware they can give off while debating women on television. The conversation happening on social media these days is about who is qualified to speak. With increasing eyes on the WNBA, the level of public scrutiny will naturally rise as well.

Points have been made over the past few weeks about what more the establishments in sports could have done for women’s basketball. The landscape before Caitlin Clark is vastly different. There’s certainly a contingent of women who have made it a career out of focusing on the coverage of women’s sports. As it seems right now, we’re at an impasse. Hopefully, not for long, but the conversation right now is about what should we be discussing, and who should take the reins in discussing it.

It’s my opinion that as long as you’re watching the games, and you have a platform, you should be able to share your thoughts. As it turns out, it’s mainly men who have the television shows that discuss the sports happenings daily. ESPN and FS1 have made gradual progress over the last eight or so years when it comes to integrating more women into their programming. At one time, Jemele Hill even co-hosted a show on ESPN called His & Hers. Since her exit from the worldwide leader, we’ve seen NBA Today flourish. Hosted by Malika Andrews, NBA Today is a premiere spot to get your daily NBA developments.

I can imagine the collective eye roll from women hoop fans who have to sit through men discussing a league that they seldom promoted prior. But I believe that sentiment is different from them being qualified to talk about the sport. At the end of the day, it’s still basketball. So, if you know the game of basketball, you’re qualified to talk about the game of basketball. Let’s not forget that for a year now, ladies have been discussing the NBA as analysts. They’re almost all former players at the collegiate or professional levels. Those ladies are absolutely qualified.

Is it glaring that all of these talks and conflicts are happening at this time? Yes. But I’m also encouraged that this will also help grow the game. This moment is the first of many growing pains. It’s no different from any other league that evolves. To be able to be at a point where you’re evolving is a blessing. This WNBA season is about a lot more good than bad. Let’s not lose sight of that.