I may sound like a broken record, but women’s basketball is on fire! Coming off the heels of a superb SEC finals game, we now turn to the NCAA tournament. Competition is at an all-time high, and that’s evident through the aggressive play we’ve been seeing. Most recently, we saw quite the brouhaha develop between the LSU Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks. Officials and authorities were quick to break things up. But I couldn’t help but think, “Hell, this is my kind of party!”

It seems to be a subconscious trend in recent times. I’m beginning to think that these young ladies are consciously making sure that they and their respective games are taken seriously. As you read my thoughts today, I know they make it seem like I’m a sort of advocate for violence. I promise you that’s not quite it. Rather, I’m all in on feverish competition. And sometimes that manifests in some scuffles. It’s rather normal in sports, and to be frank, it’s necessary to reach championship-level status.

The underlying theme I want to address here is how we view aggression within women’s and men’s sports. I think that the rules, of course, are particularly different for Black women. For instance, the aggression that Serena Williams would play with in tennis was always under scrutiny. The white media always thought she should comport herself differently. But she was supremely talented, and that fire proved to be a catalyst to her success. Why should we be trying to quell that? So, when it comes to the world of basketball, women deserve the same space.

We’re never critical of when men’s teams play with aggression. It’s lauded, implored. It’s preached as a necessity. Look no further than a few legendary “enforcers” in Draymond Green, Dennis Rodman and Meta World Peace. Their legacies are primarily attached to the force with which they played.

What we’re seeing among the women’s ranks, at least to me, is a statement. Women in this current era of women’s basketball want it to be understood that they too are principled. They too are tough, and their game and their product should be taken seriously. As for a fan like me, of course, I think that equals dollar signs. Whatever the women’s basketball game leaves to be desired in highlight fast break dunks, they can for sure satiate with their effort and physicality.

I love that the current crop of women’s stars are so vocal. They’re so demonstrative. All these elements lend themselves to a compelling product to consume in person or on television. But the beauty in all of this is that it seems genuine and organic. And as long as these ladies continue to maintain a high sense of self and pride in their game, the future of women’s basketball will be more lucrative.