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.
Fellas. Today I'm gonna give you a thread about why I (and probably most professional women basketball players) do not, and will never, give a damn about playing y'all one on one.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
We've all experienced it in person and ESPECIALLY online the "bet I can beat you one on one" man. I literally always respond, "you right" and walk away just like this ⬇️ ending the conversation pic.twitter.com/jGBtEDV9KC— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
And while 99.9% of the time I could easily embarrass you in a game and go about my business here's why I don't.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
First and foremost I have absolutely nothing to prove. I am literally being paid to go on a court and play basketball. And I have played at the highest level for some years now. I am already proven. You want me to play you b/c you THINK your fragile ego can get a boost. Nah B.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
Second, men are built different than women. Some of y'all are naturally bigger and stronger HOWEVER that does NOT equate to being better. But in my experience (because when I was younger I would play y'all fools) y'all take this opportunity to play us and simply beat us up.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
With that said YOU STILL DON'T WIN. So now I'm beat up and bruised up for a win that did absolutely nothin for me cuz I already knew what was up. Like I said when I was younger I fell for the foolishness. But now I'm older and more importantly I'M GETTING PAID.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
So I'm the only one with something to lose. Let's say I play you & you going all hard like y'all do, acting like this a tryout for the NBA & I end up getting hurt. Then what?— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
I'll tell you what happens, I'll end up losing out on some real money and you will go back to swiping item at the Target checkout. Even though I may have won, who really loses in this scenario? Me. Nah B.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
In conclusion it never has to do with being scared. I truly do not know a professional player that's scared to play anyone, man or woman. There's no way they could make it to that level if they were.— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018
We just don't care about you "I played JV in hs but my coach was a hater so I didn't get any offers" guys. If you really feelin froggy & you're dying to know if I'm really bout it, I will gladly take you to my trophy room & let you take as much time as you need to soak it in— Devereaux Peters (@MsPeters14) July 9, 2018