Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mother’s Day 2020: Celebrating sports moms.

May 7, 2020 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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It is true

I was created in you.

It is also true

That you were created for me.

I owned your voice.

It was shaped and tuned to soothe me.

Your arms were molded

Into a cradle to hold me, to rock me.

The scent of your body was the air

Perfumed for me to breathe.



During those early, dearest days

I did not dream that you had

A large life which included me,

For I had a life

Which was only you.

-Excerpt from the poem, “Mother, A Cradle To Hold Me” by Maya Angelou

Mother’s Day 2020 is near and it will be unforgettable due to the current situation that America finds itself in with social distancing and safety at the forefront. Spending time with the mothers that played such a vital part of our lives is always a necessity on Mother’s Day but that becomes a bit more challenging for many people given the coronavirus pandemic. However, the love for mothers and moms can still be expressed through sending gifts, phone calls, and video messaging as the current situation shows how precious life can be. In the world of sports, it is a cliché that many male professional athletes once shout out their moms during postgame speeches in jubliant ways. There is no questions that mothers play a major role in sports in raising many of the world’s best athletes. For some female athletes, they have juggled the incredible tasks of playing a sport at a high level and being a mother. Here are some notable mothers in sports, athletic mothers and women who raised athletes themselves in no particular order:

Serena Williams-(mother of one daughter)-Serena Williams is one of the most recognizable women in the world and one of the most accomplished athletes of all-time. The success of Williams as perhaps the best tennis player of all-time, female or male, has been well-chronicled. She has been able to have her success despite dominating a historically white and elitist sport that has been hostile at times of the success of her and her older sister, Venus. Serena Williams’ motherhood gained legendary status as she was 8 weeks pregnant when she won the 2017 Australian Open and tragically nearly died during childbirth as chronicled on her reality show. Thankfully, Williams and her baby daughter Alexis Olympia made it through the birth healthy and she is enjoying spending time together through the quarantine along with Serena’s husband,  Alexis Ohanian.

Felicia Jones-(mother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson)-It is rare to be the mother of a Heisman Trophy winner. It is more rare to be the mother of a NFL Most Valuable Player but Felicia Jones is both as former Louisville and current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has both major awards on his resume at an extremely young age. Jones has been her son’s biggest supporter and advocate, serving as his manager when Jackson was drafted into the 2018 NFL Draft. She has always supported Jackson playing quarterback at all levels of football despite racial stereotyping that can lead to black athletes being steered away from that position. There is no doubt that without his mom running football drills with him and helping him study playbooks that Lamar Jackson’s success doesn’t happen without Felicia Jones.

Skylar Diggins-Smith-(mother of one son)-One of the WNBA’s most well-known personalities is Skylar Diggins-Smith due to her productive collegiate career at Notre Dame. Interestingly, she got married to former Notre Dame wide receiver Daniel Smith and they had their first son in April 2019. Prior to having her child, Diggins-Smith had played while pregnant throughout the 2018 WNBA season but didn’t tell anyone and later spoke out that her team, the Dallas Wings, did not support her. The new WNBA Collective Bargaining Agreement has better benefits for mothers and the stories of Diggins-Smith, along with other WNBA athletes who are mothers, played an important role in that.

Pamela McGee-(mother of a NBA player and WNBA player)-Back in 2016, Pamela McGee made some incredible history when her daughter Imani was drafted into the WNBA. Pamela McGee’s son, JaVale, had been a multi-year NBA veteran but in 2016, Pamela McGee became the first mother to have a WNBA and NBA draft pick as a former WNBA player. A former professional basketball player in the WNBA being the mother to two professional basketball players, one in the NBA and one in the WNBA is beyond incredible. Current Los Angeles Laker JaVale McGee is now seeking his third NBA championship while his sister Imani is making waves as she decided not to play in the WNBA the next two seasons to pursue law school. Pamela McGee should be proud of her kids.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines

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