We’re taking a look at the women in charge in the world of sport and today the spotlight is on Jeanie Buss, the president of the Los Angeles Lakers.
What does she do?
Buss is the president and co-owner of one of the most valuable and well-known NBA franchises in the world, the Los Angeles Lakers. She took over as president when her father, Jerry Buss passed away in 2013. She is a co-owner of the club and represents the team on the NBA Board of Governers.
This wasn’t Buss’ first senior position in sport, her whole career has been in the industry following in her father’s footsteps from a young age. She became the general manager of the Los Angeles Strings tennis team aged 19 before setting up the professional roller hockey team, the Los Angeles Blades.
She later was the president of the Great Western Forum and subsequently became vice president of the Lakers. Buss also owns Women of Wrestling, aka WOW, a professional wrestling promotion.
How has she impacted sport?
Buss’ role overseeing the Lakers makes her one of the most powerful women in sport and she is often recognised as such in the media. The LA Times called her not just the most powerful woman in sport but one of the most powerful people in sport. In 2018 she was ranked eighth on the Forbes’ Most Powerful Women in Sport list.
Why is she a role model?
It’s still all too rare to see women at the very top of sporting power structures. Buss is a notable exception.
Following the death of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, Buss said he helped her recognise the importance of being a role model for women, recalling an occasion when he arranged for his daughter Gigi to meet Buss.
She said: “You explained that you wanted to show her that women can be leaders in the NBA, just like the men. At first, it seemed like an action of a devoted father setting an example for his daughter. But in actuality — and I am positively sure you knew EXACTLY what you were doing — what you did was give me the inspiration and strength I was searching for.”
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