Tag Archives: Brittney Griner

Kudos to Griner, Delle Donne and Diggins

BY JORDAN CRAVENS

Brittney Griner, the No.1 pick in the WNBA draft and a player who has changed the landscape of women’s basketball, has come out as a lesbian.

Her public acknowledgement of her sexuality comes during a time when gay rights and same sex marriage are highly controversial topics in our country as the Supreme Court reviews related legislation.

Griner is not the first WNBA to come out as a lesbian, but she should still be commended for having the strength to do so publicly. Each time a professional athlete “comes out” it will make it easier for future athletes to do so.

Griner came out during an interview with SI. Com that included Elena Delle Donne (Delaware) and Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), who were the second and third picks in the WNBA draft, respectively.

Not only did Griner come out, but she also had a positive message for others who struggle with revealing their sexual identity.

“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,” she told SI.com

What was also encouraging from the interview were comments from Delle Donne and Diggins. They both expressed support for Griner and other athletes who are gay. They also said they hope women’s sports can serve as a catalyst for the first openly gay professional male athlete.

According to various media reports, some male pro athletes are ready to embrace athletes who are gay, while others are not.

One thing I find interesting about the debate is discussion over the locker room. Some have opined that being openly gay in the pros is OK, but to keep it out of the locker room.

Why has the locker room become the central point of debate? I assume other athletes don’t want to be made to feel uncomfortable showering and changing in front of gay athletes? I can’t speak for them, but that excuse comes to mind.

So, as a society, we aren’t comfortable with heterosexuals and homosexuals showering in the same locker room, but we are stamping our approval on the misogyny and homophobia that already exists in the locker room?

I’m not comfortable with misogyny and homophobia. Is it OK if they are kept out of the locker room?

The answer is: they haven’ t been. Locker rooms are a place ripe with derogatory insults toward women and gays. They are a place where masculine hegemony and testosterone run wild.

It’s hard for me to understand why the locker room has become such a sticking point in this debate.

If I were a professional athlete, my bigger concern would be whether my teammate was going to block for me or whether he can shoot a three-pointer in clutch situations.

If you support inclusion for gays in the professional sporting world, then be fully inclusive and ditch the locker room caveat.

And kudos to Griner, Delle Donne and Diggins. Let’s hope the male sporting world is taking notes.

Brittney Griner challenges gender stereotypes

BY LORI RAUDIO

With March Madness in full swing, it is an exciting time in sports. Many people, however, forget there is a women’s tournament happening as well. With hours of coverage devoted to the men’s games, it’s easy to overlook the women. If ESPN or other media outlets even mention the women’s bracket, it’s most likely related to Baylor star Brittney Griner.

An ESPN article titled “What Brittney Griner Says About Us” by Kate Fagan did a great job illustrating the problem facing women’s sports. Fagan mentions because Griner is so good, people accuse her of being male. This occurs with many talented female athletes. Griner creates a problem for people who argue women’s games aren’t exciting or competitive. Because she actually makes the game exciting, she must be a male.

Females athletes are becoming tougher and more competitive. This contradicts the gender stereotype that women should be feminine and not overly muscular. Fagan writes, “Women’s basketball is maligned for not being as athletic as the men’s game, but as women become more athletic, these players are often labeled unfeminine, and therefore unwatchable.” I feel this perfectly sums up the problem facing women in sport.

Griner has changed the game of women’s basketball, but there is still work to be done. She will soon join the WNBA, which is even less popular than college basketball. Griner has handled all the scrutiny well, and maybe she can be the one to increase the popularity of the WNBA. To fix the problems facing women in sport, more people like Griner need challenge the conventional stereotype of female athletes.