Twitter has once again shown that it is truly the place for cowards to throw darts at people who they wouldn’t dare confront in real life. After Brittney Griner’s amazing performance at the NCAA women’s basketball championship Tuesday, twits started questioning the 6’8” athletes’ sex due to her low voice and athletic ability. Some of the obnoxious tweets were:


“it’s a shame Brittney Griner’s sanctimonious basketball skills are overshadowed by her sounding/looking like a man.”


“Why is Brittney Griner so good at basketball? Because she’s actually a man. #haveyouheardhertalk.”


“My prediction: Baylor’s national championship will be vacated once it is confirmed that Brittney Griner is, in fact a man…”


“I hope @SkyDigg4 walks up to Brittney Griner at the end of this game n asks her – MAN pull your D*ck out!? *Pun Intend #NCAAWomensBasketball.”


Why it is that when a woman is exceptionally good at a sport her sexual preference is put on blast as if it has anything to do with her talent? I believe it goes back to when we were kids and to be told that you play “like a girl” was an incredible insult. Being male or female has nothing to do with the talent that you were blessed with. It’s beyond sad that an amazing basketball player like Griner can’t get the respect she deserves for perfecting her gift because some feel that women who are great at sports must secretly be a man.


SMH at the ignorance.

  • CurlySue

    I think it’s less her athletic ability and more her extreme height and unusually deep voice. I’ll admit that when I heard an interview with her in the background while I was cleaning my house, I thought they were interviewing a male.

  • Val

    This is about race more than anything else. Rebecca Lobo is a White basketball player who is about as tall a Brittney and has a deeper sounding voice and yet since she’s white no one ever questioned her gender.

    This is something reserved for Black women. Not too long ago Track officials publicly questioned the gender of Black South African runner Caster Semenya after she won the 800 meter World Championship a couple of years ago. They actually put her through all sorts of medical tests before they announced that, guess what, Caster is a woman.

    That was nothing more than a public gender-lynching and so are these racist attacks on Brittney.

    Hang in there Brittney, they are just mad because you’ve already had more success at such a young age then they will have in their whole pitiful lives.

  • JaeBee

    “Why it is that when a woman is exceptionally good at a sport her sexual preference is put on blast as if it has anything to do with her talent?”

    I think you might mean gender identity here.

  • Ocean Blue

    It has nothing to do with ignorance.

    Well, she is masculine in appearance and unattractive (My statement isn’t based on my person opinion, but from what I have seen being said about her on social networks).

    For example, just the another night, I saw a tweet on Twitter where someone stated that Brittney Griner is the female Anthony Davis (College basketball player for University of Kentucky).

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    This reminds me of the Olympic runner who was accused of having masculine attributes, what was her name?

  • Ocean Blue

    It’s gender identity and sexual preference.

  • Dalili

    I think you mean Caster Samenya the runner from Angola.

  • JaeBee

    I believe you are referring to Castor Semenya. I believe they did some tests and the results came back that she was in fact an intersexed individual.

  • Jame

    It the end of the day who cares if she is muscular, has a deep voice, has a squeaky voice, doesn’t like makeup whatever. She is an amazing athlete. Why does it matter what she looks like. Why does she have to be a man because she is tall.

    Absolutely sick of all of the nonsense that all female athletes are unfeminine lesbians. No one is bashing men for being “aggressive and rage filled” or whatever nonsensical stereotypes someone might come up with.

  • gmarie

    hmm..nah it’s because she actually looks like a man. That is not to be cruel, it just is what it is. It’s her choice to dress and carry herself in a masculine fashion, and it is obviously because she likes it and it’s what’s comfortable for her-that’s okay. I have a deep voice as well and I have never been mistaken for a man by anyone who has encountered me because I am feminine in my mannerisms and exterior appearance. It’s not rocket science or a double standard.

    SN: Serena is called a man daily online, where’s her article?

  • Dalili

    **correction: Ms. Samenya is from South Africa not Angola.

  • binks

    Honestly, I don’t think she is being called a man because she is athletic; there are plenty of women in sports whose gender never gotten questions. I think that because Britney Griner has a deep voice and looks a bit masculine in appearance to some that they question her but I don’t think it has anything to do with her being an athlete. But she and her team is still the champs so what does it matter…shrugs But I do agree with Val that this issue comes up a lot with black female athletes…i.e. the Williams sisters, the Olympic runner like mention, etc.

  • jw

    Maybe it’s because she actually does look more like a man than a woman.

  • Ms. Information

    Just viewed an interview on youtube…she looks and sounds like a man, it has nothing to do with her being black…no race card can be pulled on this one, sorry.

  • Cherish

    I was thinking of Caster Semenya when reading this story. Just because Griner is athletic with a deep voice, it doesn’t mean that she is male!!!!!! Y’all haven’t heard of tomboys?

  • sunday

    No, not quite. Nothing against Brittney Griner, she’s an awesome basketball player, but she does have masculine characteristics. Many women do, and she’s one of them. While I agree that folks really need to leave her alone and how she looks is completely irrelevant to her skills, I’m not going to say they’re incorrect in the basic assessment that she’s masculine and/or androgynous.

    With that said, I’m really taken aback by the response from men. Sheesh! Most of what I’m hearing from them sound borderline threatened by her. The only real reason to be threatened by her is if you plan on taking her in a pick up game. Other than that, hush.

  • jazzyphile

    I’ve only seen pictures of her without makeup playing basketball–plenty of women look manly without makeup. Let’s see her “madeup”.

  • I got sense!

    @ Risa in reference to:
    “Why it is that when a woman is exceptionally good at a sport her sexual preference is put on blast as if it has anything to do with her talent? ”

    Are you serious? Take your ass out of your head. No one is questioning her ability and there have been plenty of FEMALE basketball players who have fabulous athletic ability and look/sound like FEMALES! Not to mention who gives a fuck?!?! People make fun of other people all the time for whatever damn reason.

    People are saying that because of her voice and height and looks. She has masculine features. That is an honest assumption. If she wasn’t a ball player and looked/sounded the exact same people would still wonder the same. Stop trying to turn this into a “women are the perpetual victims”. She looka like a man.

  • angelface

    Agreed…she actually does look boyish here…but I can easily imagine her looking very “girly” if she wanted to.

  • Scotland Dior

    Am I the only on who’s has hair envy when it comes to Brittney? Her hair is so thick and I would not mind having it.

  • Scotland Dior


  • myblackfriendsays

    Rebecca Lobo is 6′ 4″. And when you are talking about people that tall, 4 inches is a huge difference. Hell 4 inches is a big difference even when you’re not talking about tall people. It’s the difference between 5’8″ and 6 feet.

    I am not agree or disagreeing with your main point, I just wanted to clarify that point.

  • myblackfriendsays

    I’m sure this is not the first time she has heard comments like this, and it certainly won’t be the last. Brittney and her teammates should be very proud of all they have accomplished this season. She should let the mean-spirited comments from others roll off her back. And we as a society need to realize that people come in at all different points along all of the spectrums–this is part of what makes the world so interesting.

  • The Taker

    Dammmnnn, 6’8. I always wished I was a little taller (I’m all of 5’4), maybe 3 or 4 inches taller. But crap, to be 6’8. And I heard her speak, I agree, she sound like a straight up dude. If I was too close my eyes and make a guess about which gender is speaking, I would say male. However, that don’t give nobody the right to call her a man. They should be slapped into a seat.

  • Mel

    I thought the exact thing. Then they said Baylor Women’s Basketball and I was thinking, but is he allowed to play on the team? Is that fair? I had no idea she was female but I honestly did not care either way.

    The difference between Ms. Griner and those people who complain about her on twitter is just that. She plays, she has skill, and probably very little time for nonsense while the people on twitter can do nothing but kick rocks and question her gender status.

  • Mina

    Let’s be real, the media has a history of hyper-feminizing and hyper-sexualizing female athletes to make them more palatable to the general (i.e. sexist, homophobic) public. Griner hasn’t succumbed to the perfect ponytailization and sports illustrated swimsuit spreads. (I do feel she could pull off femme if she wanted to; and lord knows the media loooooves their light and brights front and center). She does her always, and I respect her for that. Now people are mad, real mad. Dyke baiting in women’s sports is nothing new. And yes gender expression and dyke baiting are two sides of the same coin.

    Anyway, haters will hate. She’s an amazing athlete and wishing her a successful career!

  • Jacquelyn Marie

    Wow… unbelievably cruel people…She is a human being who is phenomenal at her profession. One talented individual, how can you hate on that? Mother said, if you have nothing good to say, then say nothing at all! Some of you need to adhere to this rule of thumb, please, because your ignorance is overwhelming! Keep it Rocking Brittney Griner, You are definitely one of the Best!

  • Ron

    I think she is a very attractive woman I find nothing wrong with her and it’s a shame that people want to talk about her in this way because she has athletic skills that anyone would want to have be it guy or girl she shows amazing strength to not let things bother her she’s a perfect role model and if I have a daughter I would love for her to have her as a role model

  • Tonton Michel

    Never mind her, who takes tweets from twitter seriously? No one in the real media mentioned called her out for that.

  • Angie

    Agreed! I think she is beautiful. I hope she’ll make her home in the Bay Area.

  • Angie

    I think you’re beautiful! Move to the San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley area where you will be appreciate for your true beauty!

  • Joan

    No offense, but she does seem kind of manly. Her voice and her mannerisms seem quite masculine to me. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but I think it’s rather foolish for us to expect that to go unnoticed. I mean, come on.

  • Devan

    Sorry but I think you’re really reaching with the race/Rebecca Lobo comparison.

  • Val


    In other words, you really had nothing to say but decided to say something anyway. Got it.

  • Ebony


  • Val


    I’m really interested to know why people say, “no offense” before saying something offensive? Do you think that disclaimer gives you some sort of immunity from being thought a bigot? Just wondering.

  • LuvIt289

    Walks like a dude. Talks like dude. #done

  • CHE

    From this photo, I think she is a very cute young lady.

  • C.Sheri

    I find it interesting that when a black woman excels in a sport she is considered manly. Examples: Serena Williams and Venus Williams were considered “too manly” when they began to dominate tennis.I remember there being a question of whether or not they should be able to compete with women. We can go back to the Jacki Joyner-Kersee and Florence Griffith- Joyner who were said to look like men when they dominated their fields. So why is it that a Black woman is considered one or the other while Dora Torres ( 40- something yr old olympic swimmers) is celebrated for her muscular physique. By the way not one time was she ever called a man.

  • Georgia

    Yeah, I looked at the videos and other images online and I just do see the “masculine features” thing. At all. Her voice is somewhat deep, but her whole presentation is so clearly female I don’t get it.

  • Georgia

    Meant to type “don’t” see.

  • Georgia

    I meant “don’t” see it.

  • Mina

    Of course, this is nothing NEW! Black female basketball players have always been accused of being men when they’re taller than the average or have a deep voice than most. And in order for people to say, Oh she’s actually a woman, she has to be pregnant and pose nude! That’ll confirm she’s all female…and all straight! Because you can’t be a female basketball star unless you’re gay.

  • mikey kun

    Thank You Val

  • Bosslady

    No Val, myblackfriendsays is saying get your facts right, as one cannot make a valid argument with incorrect facts. As I tall women, (not in the 6ft region) I can testify that 4 inches is a HUGE different, so if you are trying to compare like with like, ensure that they are indeed alike.

  • Sasha

    @Val- I use the “no offense” phrase at the beginning of sentences because people are very uptight and easily offended nowadays. Joan’s purpose wasn’t meant to be offensive however she had the foresight to use the phrase “no offense” before stating her opinion because she knew that people like yourself would get all up in arms. Just as you are entitled to your opinion she is as well and shouldn’t even have to preface her statement in the first place. So she is a bigot for stating her opinion?

    @Joan- I agree with you 100%. For anyone to just look at her then hear her talk and think to themself “hmm she’s kind of manly” would not be surprising to me. She isn’t very feminine looking and is extremely tall for a female, why wouldn’t anyone notice that?

  • jetblack

    with the comments u posted , they dnt seem to question her sexual preference but rather her gender identity…it was u who actually made that jump. just had to point out the difference

  • jamesfrmphilly

    there is one way to settle the issue. nude photo spread.

  • Perverted Alchemist

    Hold the hell on…she’s three inches taller than me and has a voice deeper than mine?

  • jamesfrmphilly

    and can take you in the post……

  • KrisDeLaRash

    umm… all of yall need a Women/Gender Studies class pronto!!!

    Sex is biological and not a binary. (ex. Caster Semenya along with approximately 1 in 1000 people are intersexed.)
    Gender is socially constructed. She “looks like a man” because small minds can only process this or that.(ex. Did you hear about the man who gave birth? TWICE?! BTW, married to a woman)
    Sexual orientation (not preference, cuz that’s offensive and demeaning) is separate from the two things above and ALSO is NOT a binary. (ex. homo-, hetero-, bi-, pan-sexuality all exist!)

    I am interested in how Brittney SELF-IDENTIFIES instead of ignorant people assuming they’ve put her in the right box.

  • Jenifer Angela

    I believe every person has something God gifted power, just he or she needs to explore that. Every person brings unique skills and talents to the stage and as such, we welcome young boys and girls with or without previous performance experience. We do not require our contestants to have sponsorships or expensive portfolios, nor do we ask for any joining fees. Future Faces UK is simply a fun and exciting way to gain experience alongside with exposure in an ever more challenging Modeling industry. Our ethos is to empower young boys and girls by guiding them to reach their theatrical potential, regardless of their background find some of the UK most beautiful real life princes & princesses!
    Over 10,000 applications were received for the 2011 competition; will you be the one we are looking for in 2012?!
    Open to ages from 3months up to 25 years old.

  • Jojo

    Some of you need stop playing the victim here, including the author of the post. Everything is not an attack on black women– STOP IT. Everyone is judged in one way or the other (appearance, sexual orientation, religion.. etc). I am not arguing that it is right, but it is what it is. Can you honestly say that Brittany does not have attributes common in men? I am a huge fan of NCAA Women’s Basketball and think Brittany is exceptionally talented, but would not argue against the obvious.

    Also, women in male-dominated occupations are often seen as being manly for the same reasons that men in female- dominated occupations such as cosmetology are seen as “gay.” I mean, again, it is what it is.

  • Jessica

    I don’t think she was called a man because she is athletic…she was called a man because of her appearance (height, facial structure, build) mixed with her voice throws people off.

  • Bee

    She’s beautiful! She’s awesome, skilled, and yes androgynous! People are haters. I hope she doesn’t let it get to her.

  • srb199

    Co-sign@Val. Comments like that say so much more about you, than the person you are commenting about, i.e., your unfiltered ignorance.

  • Spiritjournee

    Why is it anyones responsibility to comment on how she looks? This topic has overshadowed her excellence, and believe me she is an excellent athlete. I wish just for one day all these people commenting about her looks could see what it feels like for someone to speak of them in this manner, I don’t care how thick your skin is, its hurtful. Brittney, I know this will be a challenge for you to overcome, but don’t allow these comments to change who you are and how you flow, this is not your problem, this is theirs. You are Awesome Girl~

  • srb199

    Well stated. The people attacking black women’s appearances display so much more about themselves than the person they are insulting. Applying a little logic should allow people to see that this thinking lets anyone be judged and categorized by their appearance, i.e., hoodies, skittles, and iced tea. Your definition of what someone is does not have to be someone else’s. That’s called the human race. Let challenge the status quo and not be followers.

  • Tonton Michel

    Serena Williams destroyed any notion that she looked like a man, completely obliterated it, anyone who says that about her now is truly hating. Brittney on the other hand doesn’t play up her femininity for good or bad, maybe she doesn’t want to her life, but you can not blame people for noticing. Being rude yeah but not noticing.

  • Ron

    I honestly don’t care what all the haters say I say it all the time I think she is a VERY atractive woman yes I would date her in a second and would not think twice about what anyone says I’m 6″1 I don’t care that shes taller then me HIT ME UP BRITT!!!!!!!

  • Ocean Blue (LaDreaming86)

    “She “looks like a man” because small minds can only process this or that. (ex. Did you hear about the man who gave birth? TWICE?! BTW, married to a woman)” – If we are thinking about the same person, you do know that ‘he’ was born a she, right?

  • Ocean Blue (LaDreaming86)

    “I wish just for one day all these people commenting about her looks could see what it feels like for someone to speak of them in this manner” – Maybe some of the people here DO know what it’s like…

  • Spiritjournee

    @Ocean Blue I wish this for those who are making insensitive comments, I don’t believe they know, but I could be wrong!

  • Spiritjournee

    Not blaming people for noticing, but for being insensitive. This is a young lady, somebodies daughter… I can’t imagine someone talking about my child like this, at this age, but I can say, I know it would have been very damaging, and hurtful…how about noticing her for her talent. She doesn’t need to prove anything to anybody, one way or the other; she just has to be okay with herself, I hope she has a strong support system behind her~

  • lulu

    i googled her to see her images and she does carry herself in a manlike way- kinda like how da brat acts. its not about her being a black woman because she is light skinned. I can tell she is a woman she doesnt photogragh girly to me

  • Val


    Unfortunately many people, some of whom are commenting on this post, don’t know that this country and the world in general has a long history of questioning the femininity of Black women. This questioning of Brittney’s gender is just another example of that.

    Also some people apparently have a problem with reading comprehension, since it’s clear that rather than understanding the point that was being made they honed in on once specific thing that really wasn’t the point of the comment.

    But just to make the reading challenged amongst us happy I’m going to present the example of Margo Dydek, a White 7-foot-2 former WNBA player, who I do not remember having her gender questioned.

    Hopefully this example will simplify my point enough so that those who didn’t understand are able to now.

  • Lingaling

    I go to school with her, and to be honest in person she is absolutely beautiful. Although she’s tall her frame is svelte and she has such nice features. I mean just cause she dominates at the post doesn’t mean she’s a man!

  • Ron

    I want to marry her!!!!!! I think she is the most beautiful woman in the world inside and out!! If I ever have the chance to meet her I would try and holla at her!!!

  • NoitAll

    @KrisDeLaRash – I disagree. I don’t think they need a Women’s/Gender Studies class. That’s too advanced. These fools need a Biology 101/Human Sexuality class. Pronto! :-)

  • Perverted Alchemist

    I’m not into sports, so maybe she could…

  • Grant

    No, as a big college basketball fan this is a fair critique. Candace Parker and Maya Moore dominated but they weren’t 6-8 with a deep voice. It is because she seems manly not because she is athletic. Moore and Parker were both more successful but also very womanly, Griner is just suspect.

  • UMM…

    Sigh… Ignorance. People really need to open their minds. There is nothing wrong with that girl.

  • ann

    As a OB-GYN the first thing I noticed was the lack of female secondary sex characteristics in the form of breasts of any sort. My suspicion is that she has a hormonal/endocrine disorder. Not that she is a male.

  • African Mami

    Maybe they are tightly bound?! Not that I am discounting what you are saying. It’s always good to look at other possibilities.

  • sa

    Brittney Griner is a woman. There is nothing else that can be said. Not all women have curves or large breasts but it doesn’t make them any less of a woman. Also, not all women have high pitched voices but those are not the criteria in which a real woman is defined. Biologically and physically Brittney is a female and people who say otherwise simply have nothing better to talk about so they make up a subject matter.

  • Ocean Blue

    It has nothing to do with ignorance.

  • df

    people will always have something to say, always. There’s no point going into why…it’s just not my business and I know people would much rather go with what is habit instead of change the way they do things…so not my problem, i’m not their therapist.

    You just have to shake it off and focus on your goals and stand strong in who you are. Maybe she’s been hearing something like this for awhile, she might even hear worse. I pray she learns to stand strong because if she doesn’t all the defending in the world from us or anyone else won’t help her.

  • hellifiknow

    I’m sure she’s biologically a woman – think her teammates would have figured out if she wasn’t by now. But I have to agree with the OB/GYN. After seeing her and hearing her talk, it’s very possible that hormonally or otherwise she has some male characteristics. She does not have the obvious body parts that we’d expect on a woman and she has a distinctively low voice. I know a woman who is 6’5 and you’d never confuse her for anything but a woman. So it’s not just Britney’s height. I do think that whatever the situation she is who she is and folks who are talking nastily about her are just nasty people. She can’t change her height or her voice.

  • Monet Sykes

    I just had to comment on this… I get called a man all the time because I don’t “fit” into societyies ideal of what a woman is suposed to look, walk, talk, and dress like. I play ball too and have very small breast and do not walk with my hips ( I guess thats right) lol. I’m sure throughout her life she was always look at like a “freak”. She’s 6’8, I’ve played against plenty 6’8 women, all looking different , some a lil too girly for me, but thats my own opinion lol. I’m only 6’0 but Still seem “freakish” to other people, mostly women, especially coming out of the womens restroom, regardless of what I wear or how long or short my hair is. We have to understand people are very ignorant and only see what they want to see. If a woman isnt walking around scantily clad ready to spread her legs open to every man in the world, then its got to be something wrong with her. I do not think B.G. Looks like a man, she’s just a tall ass girl who can ball and ahem, dunk like crazy. lol. There are many haters out there… but then again there are loves / fans as well. Im quite sure B isnt concerned about the ” little people” pun intended. It may sting for a minute, but its going to take alot to take down that tall glass of water… lol. GO BRIT! CONGRATS ON THE PERFECT SEASON. See you on the court in 2014… I hear you already got deals for the league… Nice to have a okay job coming out of college ( yes, nice job, not great.. its 48k a season for top WNBA draft picks) SMH how sad…

Latest Stories

Why Oiling Your Scalp May Not Be Such A Bad Idea


Nigerian Officials Confirm Release of 44 Abducted School Girls


Watch: ‘Black People Mate’ a Parody About the Ridiculous Stats on Black Women & Dating


University President Under Fire for Wanting to Make School Less White In the Future

Read previous post:
Kerry Washington’s Scandal Premieres Tonight, Will You Be Watching?
We Love: Africa Is A Country, a Multimedia Blog About the Richness of the Diaspora