3) Female Basketball Star Comes Out (And The Media Shrugs)
She’s one of women’s basketball’s most formidable players, but when Brittney Griner came out on Wednesday of last week, the media barely managed to muster a whisper.
Griner discussed her sexuality, never a secret but until now not spoken of on the media stage, in a Sports Illustrated interview, and you could be forgiven for missing the moment. For that reason, I’ve added emphasis:
SI Video host Maggie Gray: “Another big topic in sports recently is sexuality, especially with the NFL. In football it was rumored that maybe one or more players were going to come out — that would become huge news in the sports world and in general. In female sports, women’s sports, in the WNBA, players have already come out, and it’s really accepted. Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue?”
Brittney Griner: “I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different. Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are. Don’t worry about what other people are going to say, because they’re always going to say something, but, if you’re just true to yourself, let that shine through. Don’t hide who you really are.”
The contrast between the breathless reporting surrounding Jason Collins and Alan Gendreau’s stories and Brittney Griner’s shows the odd frenzy around gay sportsmen that perhaps speaks to why until now male homosexuality and being part of t0p-flight sports have been treated like oil and water. This, even while a number of top-flight sportswomen, Sheryl Swoopes and soccer’s Megan Rapinoe for instance, have been free to saunter out of the closet without fanfare for quite a while now.
Griner is still making headlines though, but for different reasons: the Phoenix Mercury has chosen her as a top pick in the WNBA draft and she has earned herself a lucrative sponsorship deal…
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