WNBA superstar Brittney Griner is proud of her fellow player Elena Delle Donne and hopes that others follow her example. The Phoenix Mercury player sympathized with others like her who has to struggle to stay true to who they really are.
Griner says she understands the struggle because as a player, she also experienced how hard it is to come out. It is worrisome, worried about being rejected, worried about being cast out, she describes it as tough, very tough.
Swish Appeal reported that Griner, who has already carved out a niche for herself in basketball history, endured persecution for not fitting in. She has come a long way from being disrespected to being the most respected woman in the sport.
LGBT Acceptance In WNBA
According to USA Today, coming out as gay in the Women’s NBA is pretty common compared to their male counterparts. And while Elena Delle Donne’s revelation has gained widespread attention, this is nothing new to the WNBA.
Compared to the NBA however, coming out and acceptance are on short order. Jim Collins became the first active player to come out three years ago and has been the only one since. This is despite the NBA being one of the more tolerant sports organizations in the United States. As Brittney Griner said, coming out is tough, very tough.
Among the 450 NBA players, between a handful to a few dozen players are projected to be gay. In a May 2013 interview, Charles Barkley even claimed that everyone in the NBA has played with a gay teammate.
The Center for Disease Control has estimated the total number of gay men to be two percent of the total population. This is way below the long-standing estimate of 10 percent of the total population.
Hopefully, the time comes when coming out as gay in basketball is no longer newsworthy. But instead, as Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne have shown, something to be proud of.