The Peters principle

Author: The editors

Devereaux Peters ’11 had enough. She’s a 6-foot-2 professional basketball player and two-time WNBA champion, stature and status that, for some reason, encourages a lot of men to challenge her to play one-on-one.


One July day, Peters unspooled a series of tweets on the subject to explain why she’s not about to take the bait anymore.


The thread, reprinted here, went viral and prompted The Washington Post to ask her to expand on it in an op-ed piece.


“There’s something about basketball that activates men’s egos,” Peters mused in the Post, noting that female real estate agents probably never have to respond to a man boasting, “I bet I would sell more houses than you.”


After nine surgeries, the risk of injury — these men, given the chance, apparently throw their elbows and weight around to compensate for whatever else they may lack — outweighs the hollow satisfaction of defeating someone that, after all, a professional should be expected to beat.


“Why risk what I do for a living to prove myself to a rough-and-tumble nobody?”


Instead, Peters just gives them the James Harden side-eye and walks away.