James Wade: Sprinting For Equality

James Wade
Credit Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune

By: Zach Draves

When it comes to prioritization, Chicago Sky Coach James Wade is coaching with focus.

An ocean away from his family, Sky coach James Wade finds ways to connect – The Athletic

(Courtesy: The Athletic)

Throughout this pandemic, he did what every coach should: prioritize the safety and well-being of his players. 

The Chicago Sky had a 2019 WNBA season to remember (and learn from) - Swish Appeal

(Courtesy: Swish Appeal

Furthermore, he has been standing in solidarity with his players and the rest of the WNBA as they continue to amplify their voices for social justice. 

Given that the WNBA has been the standard-bearer for athlete activism going back to 2016, they remained true to principle during this past season. 

Chicago formed the Sky Players Initiatives, in which the team partnered with local social justice organizations and donated money for every point scored and game. 

WNBA season a success despite coronavirus and social upheavals - Chicago Sun-Times

(Courtesy: Chicago Sun-Times)

https://sky.wnba.com/sky-player-initiatives/

Some players auctioned items such as game-worn shoes and jerseys.

Their motto was the hashtag #SkyTakesAction.

Coach Wade supported his players every step and maintains that this commitment will not waver. 

“We didn’t want to make this a one-year thing,” he said. 

“We are going to focus on equality and continue to speak up.”

He published a powerful essay in The Player’s Tribune after George Floyd’s murder about his experiences being a Black man in America.

Optimistic Tone

After the Bradenton bubble, he forges an optimistic tone for 2021. 

“The team is doing well. It was a tough bubble. We did our best and hopefully with everybody socially distancing we can back in front of the fans” he said. 

Also, players balling overseas are receiving proper testing and care precautions as they will soon come back to the homeland hardwood. 

And right there will be their coach. 

The Sky ladies not only have an intense desire to get better and compete at the highest level. They also lend their likeness for the greater good. 

Along the way shattering gender stereotypes by being an active man identified partner in solidarity who sees equality as a need and not a threat. 

That’s what makes coach James Wade the right man at the right time.

Zachary Draves
About Zachary Draves 117 Articles
Violence Prevention Educator, Activist, MSW Aurora University, Adjunct Professor of Social Justice and Civic Engagement at Dominican University, Aspiring Filmmaker, Alliance for Social Workers in Sports, You Can Play Project Ambassador, Co-Founder of West Chicago Suburbs Chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Co-Founder of Racial and Gender Justice in Sports Project, Organizing White Men For Collective Liberation (OWMCL), Organizer Athletes and Advocates for Social Justice

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