A new report from SB Nation investigating the lack of women in head coaching positions in men’s professional sports includes comments that some have pointed out as sexist.
According to the outlet, one, unnamed “veteran” NBA coach allegedly told reporter Tim Struby: “You can’t have a hot woman in the NBA … Guys will be trying to f— her every day.”
The same veteran coach added to SB Nation, “By and large the NBA is an incredibly sexist environment. I listen to players talk about women. I have a daughter and it’s sometimes disturbing. But it’s nothing new. It hasn’t gotten worse over the years. In our society there are men uncomfortable working under women and a handful of our players would have a problem with it.”
Some were quick to react the comment online, with one Twitter user writing, “Whichever #NBA ‘veteran coach’ said ‘You can’t have hot women in the NBA. Guys will be trying to f— her every day’, needs to have his ass kicked and fired. It demeans female coaches and paints the nba players [as] immature sex monsters.”
Across the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, NHS and all their minor league affiliates, there are 2,600 coaches employed, SB Nation reported. Currently, six of those are women.
Of those six, there are currently only four NBA coaches who are female, and none have yet risen to be the leader of their own team. Becky Hammon, 41, of the San Antonio Spurs is one of the most notable.
Hammond was hired by the Texas team in 2014 as an assistant coach and became the first woman in the league’s history to secure the title. Before working with men, she played 16 seasons in the WNBA and was even voted as one of the top 15 players in its history in 2011.
According to Sports Illustrated, she was recently considered for the Milwaukee Bucks’ and Detroit Pistons’ head coaching jobs.
Reps from the San Antonio Spurs did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment in regard to the SB Nation report.
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Other female assistant coaches include Jenny Boucek, another former pro player, who current works with the Dallas Mavericks — a gig she earned after head coaching WBNA team the Seattle Storm until 2017. Natalie Nakase has been an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers since 2014, as well, and Kristi Toliver was promoted in October 2018 to assistant coach for the Washington Wizards.