Wasserman talent agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas discusses how the culture around accepting LGBTQ athletes and the ability to successfully market them has changed in recent years.
- What do you think has happened within women's sports, at least from the outsider's perspective, to help move it forward to a place where it feels like female athletes can more fully be themselves?
LINDSAY KAGAWA COLAS: I feel like culture is moving really quickly and progress is happening faster than ever. I think we have young people to thank for so much of that. We also have really cool couples, like Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird, being very out and very cool, and people sort of getting on the bandwagon.
But I think it's a few things. Women have always been judged for everything, not just their performance. If it was performance, we would have seen a ton of stars, people like Diana Taurasi, years and years and years ago, being the most marketable athletes in the world. But I do think as society has moved to understanding and embracing that whole person, in many ways women are taking the lead because they are so interesting and so multifaceted. And I think women in particular really connect with that.
I also think we're at a moment where people are coming to understand that supporting women in sports is an act of feminism and that it is vital and it is necessary because our everyday lives are political, and that showing up for women in sports in a myriad of different ways, it might not be buying a ticket-- we're not doing a lot of that right now-- but tuning into games, consuming media, buying a jersey, buying a t-shirt, showing that there's an appetite for merchandise that celebrates women athletes, that's all really important.
And I do think that we're starting to connect the dots more broadly on what it means to support women in sports and how important that is to creating the change that we want to see.