Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns.
For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it.
The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history.
The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president Danita Johnson and Washington Mystics president Sheila Johnson. Sheila Johnson is also the managing partner of the team and does not deal as much in the day-to-day activities as the other two women.
“For us, part of our mission to promote the WNBA and also the New York Liberty is to put women’s professional basketball on the same footing as the men’s basketball team,” Tsai said in a Zoom interview on Monday. “We own the Nets and also have the Liberty, and it doesn’t make sense for us to treat them as one subsidiary of the other. They should be coequals.”
Clarke is a 10-year veteran of the organization and one of the few hold-overs from the team that was formerly owned by James Dolan. She has served in a variety of senior leadership positions in the franchise, including being the chief operating officer for the past few years.
“I think it just happened naturally since she’s the right person for the job,” Tsai said. “She’s already been running the business as the senior member of the executive team. The fact she’s female and black, it’s great. That wasn’t the first thing in picking a CEO for the New York Liberty. She’s there and happens to be a minority woman, and that’s a great thing for us.”
Besides Washington, New York and Los Angeles, two other WNBA teams — Seattle Storm and Indiana Fever — have female presidents or chief executives. Nearly half of the league’s teams have women in charge.
The top three positions in the WNBA front office are held by women, which is one of the reasons the league consistently gets good report cards from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida.
“The position that Keia Clarke has been named to is one of the most underrepresented positions that we cover in the racial and gender report card,” TIDES director Richard Lapchick said. “The fact that the WNBA has three of the 12 positions held by black women is unique in professional sport.”
Clarke knows how important her role is and hopes to inspire others.
“I don’t know who coined the phrase, but if you can’t see it, you can’t be it,” Clarke said. “By all means there were very strong women, smart women and some Black women I saw in this industry, and others that I think made aspiring to a senior role possible. I absolutely hope there are some women and even little girls who feel they can now be in this role because they have seen it done.”
She is incredibly proud to show her two children that through hard work and dedication anything is possible, Clarke added.
In her new role, she would be managing all business aspects of the Liberty organization, including strategic planning and revenue.
Tsai sees a bright future for Liberty with Clarke running the show. While the team is playing its games at a single site in Florida this season because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tsai envisions them doing well at Barclays Center.
“Our goal is to have 6,000 to 8,000 people in the arena at a Liberty game when this COVID thing is over,” Tsai said. “My dream is to see 18,000 fans in Barclay Center to a Liberty game like they come to Brooklyn Nets games. We think Keia is the right person to get us there.”
Taiwan national team manager Henry Vom on Sunday had a successful debut in charge of Taichung Futuro, winning 3-2 against league leaders Taipower with a goal deep in stoppage-time, which combined with the results from the other matches saw the gaps close at the top of the Taiwan Football Premier League table. Besides the big win for Futuro, Hang Yuan edged Taitung 1-0, Taiwan Steel dominated National Taiwan University of Sport 4-1 and the Red Lions held Ming Chuan University to a 1-1 draw. Vom took over Futuro after previous coach Toshiaki Imai returned home to Japan. Imai, who also managed the national
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational