“If there is anyone out there who doubts that there is an audience for female athletes and questions whether their stories are valuable or entertaining or important … let this Academy Award be the answer.”
Ben Proudfoot’s ‘The Queen of Basketball,’ made with Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry as executive producers, tells the story of Lucy Harris, the only woman to be drafted by the NBA and the first Black woman inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Upon receiving the Oscar, Proudfoot used the moment to call on President Joe Biden and urge him to obtain the release of two-time Olympic gold medalist and top women’s player Brittney Griner, who is jailed in Russia. “President Biden, bring Brittney Griner home,” Proudfoot said.
Griner was arrested at the airport in Moscow, where she played in the off-season and accused of having cannabis oil in her bags.
“President Biden: Bring Brittney Griner home!”
— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2022
“If there is anyone out there who doubts that there is an audience for female athletes and questions whether their stories are valuable or entertaining or important … let this Academy Award be the answer,” Proudfoot, who is from Halifax, said at the award ceremony in Los Angeles, via the Associated Press.
“This proves that Lucy Harris’ story, after 45 years of being ignored, does indeed mean something profound to America and the world,” he told the Canadian press.
“From a quiet town in Mississippi to the world stage, Lucy Harris, The Queen of Basketball, has always and will always belong at the top. Her’s is a record that will never be broken.”