Brittney Griner

Yesterday I saw two types of sports related articles, both of which included references to athlete’s and their sexuality. First there was the Kerry Rhodes “outing” done by his former assistant/alleged lover, Mr. Hollywood.  I only  have one word for this so-called “assistant”, who felt betrayed by Rhodes when he denied being gay, MESSY. Sometimes I don’t understand why people feel the need to lead a dual life by being in the closet, but I also understand it’s their life and they can lead it anyway they please.  But to be messy and go on a gossip station and air his dirty laundry was uncalled for. The social media reaction to the mess was equally disturbing, but I’m sure you can figure out on your own the defamatory remarks about Rhodes’ alleged lifestyle. And this is exactly why some people continue to stay “in”.

Brittney Griner, the star Baylor basketball player on her way to the WNBA, is a different story. In a recent video interview with Sports Illustrated, Griner discussed openly for the first time her own sexuality. SI host Maggie Gray asked the question, “Why is there a difference between men and women in that issue?”, the issue being sexuality.

“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. 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.”

“It really wasn’t too difficult,” Griner added in response to a question on how difficult the decision was to come out.

“I wouldn’t say I was hiding or anything like that,” the former Baylor University star continued.  ”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.”

It seems as though in our society, there’s less stigma attached to women athletes being out, especially when there are already so many stereotypes about women in certain sports to begin with.  I can’t remember how many times people assumed because I played a certain sport that I was gay. But I wasn’t one to get offended when asked, I just brushed it off as their own ignorance. In college, there were lesbian basketball players and were there just as many straight ones.  For people to say, “Oh well, I figured Brittney was gay”, is just about as ignorant as publicly outing someone.

I applaud Brittney for speaking honestly about her sexuality, but to you “Mr. Hollywood”, you sir get the gas face with your messy ass.



  • Nikki T

    Ravi, I couldn’t respond to the thread so I’m starting a new one (and then I’m done, I’m more than happy to let you have the last word). I’ll start by saying that I I promise you that I saw the word heteronormative, those aren’t terms you see being tossed around the internet on a regular basis. But, fine, we’ll call it a moot point. I appreciate your clarification and I understand where you’re coming from. However, I think you know as well I that this whole “I’m not surprised to hear she’s gay” commentary is not rooted in this “I’m not making any assumptions about her sexuality” ideal. It’s coming from a place where people have assumed that she was gay and therefore are not shock to hear that she is in fact gay. And just the same, being surprise to find out she was gay would mean that you’ve assumed she was straight, I agree with you there. Surprise in either direction would mean an assumption was made. I was specifically addressing those comments about not being surprised because one, it wasn’t the point of the article and two, it was based on stereotypes.

    As far as these intellectual inferences, while I agree we as humans do this, it can quickly become a slippery slope of relying on stereotypes to drive these inferences. For example, someone could statistically demonstrate that particularly group of people disproportionately commit a certain type of crime. Sure, that’s what the numbers show but we’ve seen the result of relying on such inferences…you get my drift, I’m sure. I’m not saying it’s not a reasonable to make assumptions based on data (real data mind you) but it can quickly take a negative turn.

    Finally, I think you’re misinterpreting my point. The default of not being surprised isn’t necessarily being surprised. I was neither surprised or not surprised to find out this young lady is gay, I simply took it in as a piece of information. So I’m not saying people should have been surprised.

  • trueletterson

    Look you two Nikki T and Ravi it’s simple anyone with a ounce of sense who have follow her over the years and watch how she carry herself is not surprise that she say she is gay it makes no sense to make something so simple complicated! This is not rocket science!

  • Ravi

    Considering I was one of the first to express my lack of surprise, I’m sure I don’t know that the commentary is not coming from a place of not making assumptions. For my part, I wouldn’t be surprised either way. I can’t speak for everyone else that expressed a lack of surprise, but I wouldn’t assume everyone necessarily assumed she was gay.

    I agree it can become a slippery slope, but that usually occurs when people think a given set of characteristics are determinative. Like with my cross dressing example, if one was to assume that a person was necessarily gay because they were a cross dresser then that would be problematic. If someone were to think a person was more likely gay than not based on exhibiting such behavior, then not so problematic.

    I don’t think I misunderstood you so much as I don’t think there is a third option between being surprised and not being surprised. If you are not surprised then you are not surprised reflexively and seemingly by definition. I don’t know that it is possible to be not surprised and not not surprised. I appears that by saying people should not express a lack of surprise that it follows that they should be surprised. Now if there is a way to be not surprised and not not surprised, then I would probably agree with you. In any case, well played.

  • Quelqu’un

    …I don’t think you really know much about evolution.

  • chanela17

    RIGHT! most of the female basketball players are lesbian.

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