In the year of our Lord 2022, I really want folks to focus on one thing, well a few…but let’s start here, shall we? Unless you’re putting coins in their pocketbooks, hyping them up, or defending their every right to exist in the exact way they see fit, please leave Black women the hell alone (*insert clapping emojis). Over the past few weeks, Texas A&M University basketball coach, Sydney Carter has been facing criticism for her courtside outfit choices.
“I was confused…just because it was something that I had always done,” Carter told ABC News’ Deborah Roberts in an interview for Good Morning America.
And sis is not lying. Scrolling back on Carter’s Instagram feed will give you all the proof you need that she takes her wardrobe seriously. Moreover, we need not forget that this is her job we’re talking about. How she shows up to work as a professional, or how other Black women show up to their places of work professionally, does not require or deserve an intervention of any kind.
Lastly, (‘cause I feel myself getting hot here), there is not one outfit she’s been photographed in that could be classified as inappropriate. And yet, the outfit that sparked this entire media frenzy certainly has been. At a recent game the Lady Aggies played in Kentucky, she wore a white turtleneck, pink leather pants, and stilettos.
While many have applauded Carter’s styling, others should have kept it cute and remained on mute; calling her outfit choice unprofessional, some even saying she should be fired because of it.
“I’ve never been one to make it about race or anything else,” she added in her GMA interview. “I just know at the end of the day, I’m a Black woman and I can’t hide that. Nor can I hide the fact that I look the way that I look in those pink pants, in particular. So I’m not going to try to do that to make someone else feel comfortable, because it’s what I feel comfortable in.”
If I had the opportunity, I would tell Coach Carter that yes, while many may be threatened by your shape and stature, people are doubly threatened by your status. In a world that is consistently looking to humble Black women, the naysayers must be seething at the fact that Carter is literally at the top of her game. Not only is she a former Texas A&M University basketball player, she was also drafted by the WNBA Chicago Sky in 2012. Now, she returns to her D1 alma mater as the number one shot caller. And personally, I think seeing any Black woman in such a high level position is enough to keep haters hot.
Since the news first broke about the backlash Carter was receiving, many online commenters have come to her defense however, including the queen of Pink Friday herself, Nicki Minaj. The coach recently took to Twitter to express her gratitude for all of the support she’s received, and to offer her own perspective on the situation.
“As a Black woman in coaching, I take pride in showing that people who look like me don’t have to diminish our light to appeal to others, whose opinions never mattered anyway. I will continue to unapologetically be myself, apply pressure, and show that Black women can express our individuality while doing our jobs at a high level.”
She also had these words of advice to impart upon others who may facing similar criticisms:
“I say do what you’re confident in. Be who you are regardless of what people say they would prefer to be the norm,” she said. “There is no norm anymore. You make it your own.”