Spend your entire Labor Day weekend watching women's sports
Here's your weekend television guide. You're welcome.
Hello, friends, and welcome to Power Plays, a no-bullshit newsletter about sexism in sports, written by me, Lindsay Gibbs.
Happy Labor Day weekend! Somehow, it seems, summer is ending? As someone who has mentally been stuck in March for six months, this is very confusing. I am writing to you all from the mountains of North Carolina, where I am embarking on a no-hugs, masks-mandatory, temperature-check-filled wedding weekend for cousin. I hope you all are also finding safe ways to have fun. And if you don’t have any plans? Well, that’s even better.
Because I am here with GREAT NEWS: There are so many women’s professional sports happening this weekend that you can watch live!! Many of these games/matches are available on television, and the rest are pretty easily accessible through streaming services.
I wanted to give you all a run-down, so you can plan your long weekend accordingly. Remember — we have to tune in when women’s sports are shown. That’s how *we* can help create change. (NOTE: This will be very U.S. centric, I apologize to all of my international readers.)
Also, a reminder that you’re missing out if you’re not a paid subscriber of Power Plays. On Friday, paid subscribers got to read a Q&A with Ginny Gilder, an Olympic silver medalist, champion rower, and co-owner of the Seattle Storm. We talked about her memoir, “Course Correction,” the future of the WNBA, and why she’s so inspired by young athletes today.
National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL)
(Photo via Getty Images)
The NWSL Fall Series kicks off TODAY on CBS, which is absolutely thrilling. As you likely remember, the NWSL was the first pro league back in action in the United States, when it successfully held the NWSL Challenge Cup in July.
Saturday, September 5, 1:00 p.m. ET (CBS & Twitch): Washington Spirit vs. Sky Blue FC
That’s the only game this weekend, but you can see the rest of the schedule here.
FA Women’s Super League (FAWSL)
Yes, we are now getting INTERNATIONAL soccer on television and streaming platforms in the United States, too. Which is great news, because there are a lot of U.S. Women’s National Team stars who have headed over to compete in the FAWSL given the uncertain covid situation on the homefront. At Yahoo Sports, Caitlin Murray wrote about how the FAWSL could be on its way to being the best women’s soccer league in the world.
If, like me, you haven’t followed soccer leagues outside of the United States that closely — which, honestly, that truly might *just* apply to me — I found this breakdown of the FAWSL at The 18 to be very helpful.
For those unfamiliar, the FA WSL is similar to the Premier League, albeit with just 12 teams. The season is played in a round-robin format with each team playing every other team once home and once away. The top team at the end of the season is declared champion (no playoffs), the top two teams qualify for the next season’s Champions League and the last-place team is relegated.
Chelsea won the 2019-20 WSL crown, albeit controversially. Manchester City finished the season with the most points, but the Blues were awarded the title based on points-per-match, as England decided it wasn’t worth finishing the women’s season during the pandemic, but the men’s season was worth finishing. Liverpool was relegated and will be replaced by Aston Villa this season.
There was already one game on Saturday morning, Manchester City defeated Aston Villa 2-0. But here’s how to watch on Sunday:
Sunday, September 6, 7:30 a.m. ET (NBC Sports app/NBCSports.com): Arsenal vs. Reading
Sunday, September 6, 9:30 a.m. ET (NBC Sports app/NBCSports.com): Manchester United vs. Chelsea
Sunday, September 6, 12:00 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network): Manchester United vs. Chelsea
(Yes, this means that the noon game on NBC Sports Network will be a re-run, which is really, really shitty. But it’s still a big deal that it’s on TV, so tune in if you can.)
Athletes Unlimited Softball (AU)
(Photo via Getty Images)
There are six Athletes Unlimited softball games this weekend. (If you missed my piece on the new pro softball league from earlier this week, you can read it here.) Unfortunately, only one game will be on television, but the rest will be on ESPN3, which you should have access to through most cable/subscription services.
Here’s the lineup:
Saturday, September 5, 1:00 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Team Ocasio vs. Team Show
Saturday, September 5, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Team Hayward vs. Team Osterman
Sunday, September 6, 1:00 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Team Hayward vs. Team Show
Sunday, September 6, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Team Ocasio vs. Team Osterman
Monday, September 7, 4:00 p.m. ET (ESPN3): Team Ocasio vs. Team Hayward
Monday, September 7, 8:00 p.m. ET (CBS Sports): Team Show vs. Team Osterman
NOTE THAT THIS IS THE TV GAME!
I’m still bitter that the Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks game wasn’t on national television game last night — if you missed the Jewell Loyd buzzer beater, get caught up immediately — but let’s do our best to support the platforms that are showing the games this weekend.
(Most WNBA games are aired in their local markets, too, so I included that info in case it helps anyone.)
Saturday, September 5, 4:00 p.m. ET (Facebook, Fox Sports Indiana): Connecticut Sun vs. Indiana Fever
Saturday, September 5, 6:00 p.m. ET (Facebook, Fox Sports SE-Atlanta, MYLVTV): Las Vegas Aces vs. Atlanta Dream
Saturday, September 5, 8:00 p.m. ET (Twitter, Fox Sports Go NY): New York Liberty vs. Phoenix Mercury
Sunday, September 6, 4:00 p.m. ET (Twitter, NBC Sports Washington, Fox Sports SW+): Dallas Wings vs. Washington Mystics
Sunday, September 6, 6:00 p.m. ET (Facebook, Fox Sports North, JoeTV): Seattle Storm vs. Minnesota Lynx
Sunday, September 6, 8:00 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network, Spectrum Sportsnet, The U): Chicago Sky vs. Los Angeles Sparks
Monday, September 7, 6:00 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network, NESN): Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury
The U.S. Open
(Photo via Getty Images)
And last, but if you know me, CERTAINLY not least, we have the U.S. Open. Tennis doesn’t have as set times as most other sports, but you can click here to get the Order of Play every day.
Saturday, September 5, 11:00 a.m. ET through 11:00 p.m. (ESPN App and ESPN2): Third Round/Doubles
PLEASE NOTE THAT AT 2:00 p.m. ET, Sloane Stephens and Serena Williams will face off!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, September 6, 11:00 a.m. ET through 11:00 p.m. (ESPN App and ESPN2): Round of 16/Doubles
Monday, September 7, 11:00 a.m. ET through 11:00 p.m. (ESPN App and ESPN2): Round of 16/Doubles
Have fun, friends! I’ll see you all back here on Tuesday, if not before.