LeRoy Butler waited almost 20 years too long to be voted for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After retiring in 2001, Butler remained living in southeast Wisconsin. A native of Jacksonville, Florida, the four-time All-Pro safety for the Green Bay Packers now resides in the Racine area. For years, Butler has been a co-host on a local sports radio station, AM1250 The Fan. He has truly adopted Wisconsin, particularly Milwaukee and the surrounding area, as his new hometown. Yesterday, Butler shared a goal that he has to further the presence of professional sports in Milwaukee in a way that has not been seen in over 40 years.
I would love to own a @WNBA franchise in milwaukee! That would be 🔥 #goals
— leroy butler (@leap36) July 6, 2022
Related: LeRoy Butler explains how Reggie White impacted his career
LeRoy Butler Wants to Own a WNBA Team in Milwaukee
Ever a proponent for equal representation among athletes who do not get the same coverage as major sports, LeRoy Butler has a goal to bring a WNBA team to Milwaukee. Currently, the WNBA has 12 teams. Three of these teams are in close proximity to Milwaukee: the Chicago Sky, the Indiana Fever, and the Minnesota Lynx.
Related: LeRoy Butler and Robin Yount team up to make a new Wisconsin adult beverage
Milwaukee Used to Have a Professional Women’s Basketball Team
In 1978, the Women’s Professional Basketball League was formed as the first women’s professional basketball association in the history of the United States. One of the founding teams was the Milwaukee Does. In all, there were 15 teams in the WPBL:
- California Dreams
- Chicago Hustle
- Dallas Diamons
- Dayton Rockettes
- Houston Angels
- Iowa Cornetts
- Milwaukee Does
- Minnesota Fillies
- New England Guls
- New Jersey Gems
- New Orleans Pride
- New York Stars
- Philadelphia Fox
- St. Louis Streak
- San Francisco Pioneers
The league also had planned for an expansion team, the Tampa Bay Sun, but folded before the team played a single game.
The Milwaukee Does were not successful on the court during their short history. They only played in two of the PWBL’s three seasons before being disbanded. One interesting note, though, is that they were coached for part of their first season by Larry Costello, who was the first head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks and led them to a championship in 1971.
Can Milwaukee Support a WNBA Team?
The question, of course, is whether or not a WNBA team is even viable in Milwaukee. Not too long ago, it appeared as if the Milwaukee Bucks were going to be sold and moved out of the city. However, winning changes anything. With the success of the Bucks and the deep appreciation of youth sports and basketball in general in the city, Milwaukee should be a prime candidate for any expansion WNBA team.
Related: A 1-1 podcast conversation with LeRoy Butler
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