Brittney Griner comes out to the media
Brittney Griner was named the No. 1 pick in Monday’s WNBA draft. It was a great honor for the three-time All-American center out of Baylor, but that was just the beginning of the media buzz surrounding the star. Griner recently revealed publicly that she is gay, adding her to the list of the several gay athletes who are coming out to the media.
Griner claims that she has spoken about her sexuality before but this marks the first time she has done so publicly before the media. The issue of coming out has been a big one lately, especially in the NFL. There seems to be a disparity, though, in the magnitude of being open about sexuality between men and women’s sports. When asked what she thought Griner couldn’t quite say.
“I really couldn’t give an answer on why that’s so different,” Griner said. “Being one that’s out, it’s just being who you are. Again, like I said, just be who you are.”
Given how the treatment of gay athletes can vary from it not mattering at all to the general public to that athlete become the target of hurtful vitriol, Griner’s choice to be so open about her sexuality may surprise some. But for Griner, it’s all about being herself.
“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,” she said. “Don’t hide who you really are.”
While the WNBA certainly seems accepting of Griner’s announcement, there is a ways to go for many other professional sports. In that vein, one organization has been working overtime to fight for equality in sports. The You Can Play project has been motivating gay athletes to speak out and be honest. The concept is simple: every athlete should be honest about his/her orientation and have a chance to play no matter what.