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Brittney Griner: Baylor was not supportive of my sexual preference

Brittney GrinerMost of the people who watched Brittney Griner dominate the basketball court for four years at Baylor did not care what she did with her personal time. The fact that Griner is gay never really seemed to be an issue. However, Griner revealed in her new book that things weren’t always as civil as they seemed between her, Baylor coach Kim Mulkey and the university.

Before she committed to Baylor, Griner said Mulkey told her she cared about nothing besides her basketball ability.

“Big Girl, I don’t care what you are,” Griner recalls Mulkey telling her, via The Slate. “You can be black, white, blue, purple, whatever. As long as you come here and do what you need to do and hoop, I don’t care.”

Apparently that did not turn out to be the case. Griner wrote in her book that she was once out with her girlfriend on Valentines Day when someone spotted her and informed Mulkey. Griner said Mulkey later told her that she needs to be more careful about keeping her relationships private and watching what she puts on Twitter.

“The more I think about it, the more I feel like the people who run the school want it both ways: they want to keep the policy, so they can keep selling themselves as a Christian university, but they are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes,” Griner wrote. “That is, as long as those gay athletes don’t talk about being gay.”

Griner said there is “no right or wrong side” when it comes to Mulkey’s opinions and that she still loves her, describing their relationship as having “complicated feelings” at times. She also said she would attend Baylor again if she had to do it all over, but that it is hard to be a spokesperson for the school.

“I would love to be an ambassador for Baylor, to show my school pride, but it’s hard to do that,” Griner said. “I’ve spent too much of my life being made to feel like there’s something wrong with me. And no matter how much support I felt as a basketball player at Baylor, it still doesn’t erase all the pain I felt there.”

Unfortunately, this is an issue in many schools across the country. Baylor is a Christian university, and that can mean having to tread the line between biblical truths and equal rights. From the sound of it, Mulkey and school administration didn’t always make the right choices when it came to supporting Griner.

H/T Deadspin

Brittney Griner has a ‘lesbian tattoo’

Brittney Griner is a proud gay person, though she only recently officially came out publicly. The Phoenix Mercury center says she came out to her parents in high school and that she was openly gay at Baylor, though she was discouraged by the athletic department from talking about her sexual orientation. Now that she’s in the WNBA, Griner has talked about her sexual preference at length.

Griner is featured in a great profile by ESPN W’s Kate Fagan that is full of insight into Griner’s character. Fagan also did a video with Griner to accompany the profile. In the video interview, Fagan asks Griner which of her multiple tattoos best represents her. Griner said it’s her “lesbian tattoo.”

Brittney Griner lesbian tattoo

“It’s the double-linked female sign. I call it my lesbian tattoo,” Griner tells Fagan.

Though Griner says she was discouraged from public talking about being gay, she says she wasn’t the only gay athlete around.

“I wasn’t alone, I’ll say that. I was not alone.”

In Fagan’s profile, it’s revealed that Griner moved in with her high school’s JV basketball coach during her senior year of high school because of clashes with her father, who did not want to raise a gay girl. But he apparently has come around and regularly texts Griner’s girlfriend of six months.

Griner also says in the profile that she wears men’s clothing because she feels most comfortable in it. And in addition to being told to keep her sexual preference to herself at Baylor, Griner says she was asked by coach Kim Mulkey to wear a shirt under her jersey to cover her tattoos.

As you can tell based on all the interviews Griner has done the past few months, she surely is embracing the opportunity to speak about being gay.

Image via ESPN

Brittney Griner: Baylor discouraged me from being openly gay

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner says she was discouraged by her coaches and the Baylor athletic department from being openly gay while in college the past five years.

Griner just completed her senior season in Waco and was selected No. 1 overall by the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury. The former two-time first-team All-American center came out publicly last month, though she says she has been openly gay since high school.

Griner told ESPN The Magazine/espnW that she was discouraged from being open while at Baylor. She says she was told to keep it private because it could damage recruiting.

“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner told ESPN The Magazine and espnW. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”

Griner says she told Baylor coach Kim Mulkey up front when she was being recruited that she was gay. She says Mulkey told her that was not an issue. However, she was discouraged from being open about her sexuality.

“It was more of an unwritten law, but come to find out it was a written law. It was kind of one of those things like, ‘just don’t do it.’ They kind of try to make it like, ‘Why put your business out on the street like that?’” Griner told espnW’s Kate Fagan.

Griner says the issue first came up when she tweeted something.

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Brittney Griner thinks your gay jokes are lame and stale

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner publicly came out as gay last month. The former Baylor center says she has been out since high school, so it’s not like she was hiding something. But maybe her announcement has led to more jeers from the public. Whatever the case, Griner thinks all the gay jokes are lame.

Take a look at what the current Phoenix Mercury center tweeted on Thursday:

Yes, so for the record, calling someone “gay” is not an insult. It’s just stupid. And in the case of Griner, she’s heard it all, so give it up already.

Brittney Griner’s WNBA contract has a skateboarding clause in it

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner is arguably the best female basketball player in the world, but shooting hoops is not her only passion. What most people do not know about Griner is that she is also an avid skateboarder. As you might expect, this causes a bit of anxiety for the Phoenix Mercury, who took Griner with the top overall pick in the WNBA draft last month.

According to TMZ, Griner’s contract with the Mercury includes a clause about her skateboarding habits that is aimed at decreasing her risk of injury.

“I agreed with the Mercury that I would only ride in a controlled environment,” Griner said. “No tricks or hill bombing. I know what is at stake, so I’ll just be cruising. I’ll get my adrenaline rush on the court.”

That’s probably for the best. Griner once broke her wrist while riding in a parking structure while she was playing for Baylor. Griner and her 6-foot-8 frame will not only ideally turn the Mercury into a top contender in the WNBA, but she is also a major marketing tool because of her ability to throw down dunks like this one and ignite the crowd. The last thing the team needs is her breaking her ankle attempting a kick-flip.

“Once my basketball career is over though, I will be building a skate ramp in my yard, that’s for sure,” she said.

As long as her days of dominating the sport are over, I’m sure that will be just fine with her employer.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Mercury coach would not let Brittney Griner play in NBA Summer League

Brittney GrinerBrittney Griner was selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the first overall pick in the WNBA draft last week. That was never in doubt, but her potential NBA future could be.

Thanks to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and his comments about drafting Griner in the second round of the NBA Draft if she was the best on the board, there has been a lot of speculation about whether the former Baylor star will attempt to carve out a career playing alongside men. According to Mercury coach Corey Gaines, Griner will not be pursuing an NBA career at the expense of the one she already has with the WNBA.

“Summer League is messing with our games,” Gaines told the Dallas Morning News on Monday. “I think that won’t happen. That wouldn’t be a smart thing. If (Cuban) wants to talk about it, talk about it – it’s better for us.”

Griner has stated in previous interviews that the WNBA will be her priority, and it would be incredibly unrealistic to think she can juggle the two. If you ask this NBA legend and this Hall of Fame women’s coach, they would tell you its a nonissue because Griner could never make it in the NBA. The fact that her current coach does not want her playing in the NBA Summer League simply creates another obstacle.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Brittney Griner comes out as gay following WNBA draft (Video)

Brittney-GrinerBrittney Griner is not the first WNBA athlete to come out as gay, but she is probably the most prominent. Griner was one of the most dominant college basketball players of all time during her career at Baylor. As expected, she was selected by the Phoenix Mercury with the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft on Monday.

During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Maggie Gray on Wednesday, Griner publicly acknowledged that she is a lesbian. While it was the first time she had ever discussed her sexuality so openly, Griner said it was not difficult because it is something she has always embraced and was not trying to hide.

“It really wasn’t too difficult, I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that,” Griner said. “I’ve always been open about who I am and my sexuality. So, it wasn’t hard at all. If I can show that I’m out and I’m fine and everything’s OK, then hopefully the younger generation will definitely feel the same way.”

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