Drake

Carmen Mandato / Staff via Getty Images

Drake Shows Support At The WNBA's Toronto Team Launch Event

  /  05.23.2024

Today (May 23), the WNBA announced that Toronto will be home to the league’s 14th team, marking its first expansion into Canada. The launch event featured notable appearances from Drake, former Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, and Raptors President Masai Ujiri.

During the occasion, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert confirmed the basketball crew’s location, the Coca-Cola Coliseum. Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, also praised current WNBA players like A’ja Wilson, Diana Taurasi, Breanna Stewart, and Canadian-born Kia Nurse as inspirations for future Toronto team members.

“They can see that the sport they play as girls and as women is just as important and worth investing in because the more we all recognize the value and potential in women’s sports, the closer we get to a more equitable future in the world of sports,” Tanenbaum said. “We’re here because today, once again, we were in the right place at the right time. And that’s entirely because of the talent, hard work, and perseverance of many women in this room today.”

Drake, who was a significant presence during the Raptors’ 2019 championship run, brought additional attention to the historic announcement, for better or worse. Social media users used the rapper’s public appearance as a way to revisit his recent beef with Kendrick Lamar. 

“It would be kinda funny if the [Golden State] Valkyries found a way to loop in Kendrick at their next event,” sports journalist Mark Schindler shared on Twitter. In a separate post, someone appeared to reference the Compton emcee’s “Not Like Us” by writing, “WHY IS HE AROUND?”

Another account on the app said, “The [Los Angeles] Sparks have the chance to do the funniest thing with this Toronto announcement.” Check out the reactions below.

The WNBA revealed the name and logo for the Golden State Valkyries earlier this month. Kehlani, who voiced the team’s promotional video, said, “Born from the Bay, gilded in gold. This is where legends take flight, but our story has yet to be written.”

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