Morgan, Bird, Kim, Manuel Co-Found 'TOGETHXR' to Elevate Women's Voices

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2021

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird poses for a photo after the team won basketball's WNBA Championship Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel and Sue Bird have partnered to found TOGETHXR, a media brand focused on women's sports and lifestyle. 

TOGETHXR @togethxr

8 Olympic Gold Medals 6x X Games Gold Medalist 4x WNBA Champion 2x FIFA World Cup Champion 2 Many Records to Count 🏅 1 Iconic Photoshoot by @RAVIEB @alexmorgan13 x @swimone x @S10Bird x @ChloeKim https://t.co/5ulxk9chwA

Alex Morgan @alexmorgan13

.@togethxr is the crossover between lifestyle, culture, and sport. I am proud to be one of four phenomal co-founders of this brand. There has never been a place for women that exists like this. We got sick of waiting for someone to build some space for us, so we did it ourselves. https://t.co/Mt4Fve80GD

Simone Manuel @swimone

TOGETHXR is the crossover between lifestyle, culture, & sport. I am proud to be 1 of the 4 phenomenal co-founders of this dream brand. I can’t wait to share everything we have in store. There has never been a place for women that exist like this. It’s about damn time. @togethxr https://t.co/37PAbdBVkl

Self's A.A. Newton pointed to a 2018 report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization that women's sports receive around four percent of the total sports media coverage.

Bird, the four-time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm and four-time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA, explained how that figure motivated her to act.

"The piece of the pie we have is so small," she said. "When there's such a small piece ... you almost have to fight with one another to get it. I'm glad that we're now at a point where [female athletes] all kind of look at each other like, 'Wait, what? That's not the problem here. The problem is we need a bigger piece.'"

Sue Bird @S10Bird

@togethxr is the crossover btwn lifestyle, culture & sport. I am beyond proud to be one of the 4 phenomenal co-founders of this dream brand. I can’t wait to share everything we have in store. There has never been a place for women like this. In short, it’s about damn time!! 🤩⏰ https://t.co/Mqtsj57trp

Morgan, a two-time World Cup winner, told the New York Times' Kevin Draper and Talya Minsberg the project is "going to be something that really breaks barriers."

"Something that creates a community and a platform from female athletes for female athletes that has never been done before," Morgan said.

Manuel also discussed how female athletes are covered in the media, saying women are "bursting at the seams to tell these stories" and how sponsorship opportunities are limited.

"Being a woman, you are told you are too much or not enough of any one thing, all the time, especially in sports," she said. "It is a consciousness that isn't even ingrained, it is a byproduct. If we are talking literal financial opportunities, you have to dimensionalize yourself because there isn't enough respect for women athletes and their athletic performance."

In general, women's sports appear to be riding a wave of momentum.

While almost every major sports league across the country saw its viewership dip amid the COVID-19 pandemic, ratings for the National Women's Soccer League experienced a surge in popularity for its fall Challenge Cup.

Players from the WNBA also made headlines during the 2020 season for their social justice activism. They also brought attention to the campaign of Rev. Raphael Warnock early into his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, which he eventually won in a run-off in January.

Their support for Warnock was an explicit rebuke of incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who until recently had an ownership stake in the Atlanta Dream and had previously spoken out against the league and its players focusing on social justice and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.