When 12-year-old McKenna Peterson, a basketball player and fan, didn’t see any women in the latest Dicks Sporting Goods basketball catalog, she didn’t toss it and go on about her day. Instead, she wrote a letter to the retail chain expressing her displeasure — and it’s putting a spotlight on the store’s decision to shut out female players from its pages.
“I think that girls should be treated as equally as boys are treated,” McKenna wrote in part. “It’s hard enough for girls to break through in this sport as it is, without you guys excluding us from your catalog.”Her father, sports journalist Chris Peterson, a reporter for AZCentral Sports and NBC12, helped bring a wider audience to his daughter’s letter by tweeting a picture of it. Plenty of sports fans have been supporting and cheering McKenna since he did.
In her letter, McKenna lays out evidence that there are plenty of stellar WNBA players, from the Phoenix Mercury’s Taurasi and Griner to the Minnesota Lynx’s Lindsay Whalen and Maya Moore — and she doesn’t see why the store is ignoring female athletes. “So, back to the point,” she writes. “There are NO girls in the catalog! Oh, wait, sorry. There IS a girl in the catalog. SITTING in the STANDS.”
She notes that women are only mentioned once, on a page about shoes, and then later on a coupon with a picture of cheerleaders. ”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,” she adds.
She signs the letter in the same direct, no-nonsense style she uses throughout: “Sincerely, McKenna Peterson, The Fabulous Basketball Player.”Dicks Sporting Goods has yet to respond publicly, but Peterson tweeted that he got a message from Dick’s regarding McKenna’s letter, but didn’t disclose the details.