The WNBA has long been a leader in supporting LGBTQ inclusion. However, not all players are comfortable being open about their sexuality.
Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been a pillar of support for the LGBT community during her nine-year career in the league. She recalls that when she first joined the WNBA, the league was just beginning to take small steps toward inclusivity.
What is the percentage of WNBA players who are lesbian?
The WNBA has been home to some of the most talented women’s basketball players in the world, and it’s also been a trailblazer for LGBTQ equality in sport. Several players in the league have come out as lesbian, and many others have supported those who have made that decision.
Brittney Griner made headlines when she came out as gay shortly after being drafted first overall by the Phoenix Mercury in 2013. But there were other players who came out before her, some with little fanfare or media attention. One such player was New York Liberty veteran Sue Wicks, who was open about her sexuality in a 2002 interview with Time Out New York.
After Wicks’s statement, there was an uptick in WNBA players publicly coming out as gay or supporting LGBTQ people. Some of those players included Seimone Augustus, Elena Delle Donne, and Breanna Stewart. Then in June of 2014, the WNBA became the first professional sports league to establish a dedicated Pride campaign that involved teams and their players participating in Pride events and a nationally televised Pride-themed game.
But despite the progress the league has made in terms of its commitment to inclusivity, former player Candice Wiggins recently claimed that she never enjoyed her eight-year career in the WNBA because of what she described as a “very harmful” homophobic culture. This claim has sparked much debate and discussion about the WNBA’s commitment to LGBTQ equality.
What is the percentage of WNBA players who are gay?
The WNBA is an extremely popular league for women to play basketball, and it’s also a great platform for some of the best athletes in the world. Many of these athletes are also part of the LGBTQ community, and some have even come out publicly. In celebration of Pride month, Insider is highlighting some of the WNBA’s most out and proud athletes. From USWNT captain Megan Rapinoe to WNBA legend Diana Taurasi, these players are proud of who they are and how they live their lives.
However, there’s no official statistics on how many WNBA players are gay or lesbian, and that lack of information has led to some misinformation and wild speculation. This is a problem because it can lead to damaging stereotypes about the league and its players.
Griner, a member of the Phoenix Mercury, has seen how far the WNBA has come on equality issues over her career. She points to the Mercury’s annual Pride night and other events as important markers of how much progress the WNBA has made. She also notes that the WNBA’s most prominent out nonbinary player, Layshia Clarendon of the Minnesota Lynx, is a prime example. She is vocal about her sexuality and gender identity, serves on the WNBA’s Social Justice Council, and embraces her top surgery with pride.
What is the percentage of WNBA players who are straight?
There is no formal study of the sexual orientation of WNBA players, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the majority of players are heterosexual. This was reinforced last week when WNBA star Candice Wiggins made controversial comments about her time in the league. In a story published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Wiggins said that she forced herself to retire early because of a lack of support from fans and a culture of bullying among players. Her remarks prompted many current and former WNBA players to respond, including a number of who are gay.
The WNBA has long been a trailblazer for LGBTQ inclusion in sports, and today the league is one of the most diverse and progressive professional women’s sports leagues in the world. One of the reasons for this is that many WNBA players are openly gay. When Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner came out as gay in a 2013 press conference, it wasn’t a big deal because the other athletes in the league already knew her status.
Since then, other WNBA players have come out, including All-Stars such as Sheryl Swoopes and Liz Cambage. In addition, there are a number of openly gay coaches and administrators in the league, including former Suns, Mercury, and Warriors president Rick Welts, who was part of the initial NBA group that helped launch the WNBA in 1997.
What is the percentage of WNBA players who are transgender?
When it comes to LGBTQ athletes in women’s professional sports, the WNBA has led the way for years. The league has actively courted LGBTQ fans, had a few players come out as gay, and even hosted a Pride-themed game. But it’s not always easy for players to open up about their sexuality on and off the court.
For many players, coming out as lesbian or gay can have negative effects on their career. It can impact their minutes, whether they make the Olympic team, potential endorsements, and post-playing career opportunities. It can also cause their teammates to distance themselves from them. In addition, being openly gay can lead to discrimination in the workplace.
As a result, some players prefer to stay in the closet and keep their sexuality private. However, some players, such as Elena Delle Donne of the Washington Mystics, have chosen to be more open about their sexuality. She even made a point to select out players during her draft selection process this year.
Despite the challenges that LGBT athletes face, many are still successful in their sport. For example, US Women’s National Team player Megan Rapinoe and WNBA legend Sue Bird are both lesbian. In addition, other athletes like Olympic gold medalists Shalane Flanagan and Jessie Diggins are transgender. This year, the WNBA is celebrating PRIDE Month with events and recognitions across the league’s markets.