Business, Sports & Gaming

Leadership in Gender, Social, & Cultural Issues

Geno Auriemma

Lesson time 08:35 min

Geno teaches the importance of standing up for equality and positive change—and the responsibility of men and people in power to do the right thing.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Keep Pushing for Equality • Men Need to Set an Example for Other Men • Believe in the Capabilities of Young People


[MUSIC PLAYING] - I have never coached a day of women's basketball in my life. I have never coached a day-- when I coached high school girls' basketball, I was 21, and they were 15, 16, 17. In my mind, I was not coaching girls' basketball. When I coached the boys in high school and when I coached boys in AAu, and we had three or four pros on my team, my college team, the national team, I have never differentiated in my life in how I coach them. So I don't see gender when I coach. I see athletes. And that's been from day one. I signed up to coach basketball the way basketball is meant to be played, not the way people have told you when you were in high school, when you were in middle school that it's OK for girls to play this way, but boys have to play this way. No, I didn't sign up for that. I signed up to coach basketball, and you are basketball players for two hours every day. The rest of the time, you're 17, 18-year-old girls, young women, teenagers, whatever you want to call them. But for those two hours, two and and a half hours, you are nothing but a basketball player to me. Always has been, always will be. [MUSIC PLAYING] - You know that picture that was on all social media on-- it was the weight room, the weight room at the women's Final Four and the weight room at the men's Final Four. You know how I took that? That was symbolic of, well, it's just a women's Final Four, and they never really, you know, harp about this. So what difference does it make? Well, you know what the problem with that weight room thing was? The fact that you, who made that decision to put that weight room over there, didn't think enough and be kind enough and be sensitive enough to say, hey, I don't know if anybody's thinking about this, but we better put that same weight room, on the other side. See, to me, it means a failure of people to use their head, to be kind when they could have been, to do the right thing when they could have. Instead, they chose to do the wrong thing. And they knew it was wrong, and they did it anyway. What exactly are women athletes asking for? What does equality mean? Well, there are certain things that should be exactly equal among men's and women's sports. And we need that to be equal. We need to identify what those are. And the people that run these sports, mostly men, need to make sure that they're equal. Hey, I'm doing this for the men's team. I'm doing this for the men's tournament. Hey, hey, whoever's running this operation, make sure the same thing is done for the women, without them having to get on, you know, their hands and knees and beg. Equality. Number two, there are certain things that can be comparable. They don't have to be exactly equal, but they have to be comparable. And then the third thing, It's OK that some things are different. There's nothing wrong with that. It's OK. But to me, the decision makers the key influencers have decided over the years that...

About the Instructor

With 11 national college basketball championships and two Olympic gold medals, Geno Auriemma has coached some of basketball’s most iconic teams. Now he’s showing you how to build and lead any kind of team—at home, work, or in your community—and achieve sustainable success. Learn strategies for being an empathetic, resilient leader so you can inspire others to push past their own barriers and reach their highest potential.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Geno Auriemma

Legendary basketball coach Geno Auriemma teaches you how to lead any kind of team, inspire others to new heights, and build sustainable success.

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