Former Baylor Lady Bears basketball superstar Brittney Griner was told to be publicly mum about her sexuality by her head coach, Kim Mulkey, because it was believed to be harmful to recruiting and reflect badly on the program.
Griner's candid testimony was documented in a report by ESPN, which included excerpts from interviews Griner did with ESPN The Magazine and ESPNW.com's Kate Fagan:
It was more of a unwritten law [to not discuss your sexuality] ... it was just kind of, like, one of those things, you know, just don't do it. They kind of tried to make it, like, "Why put your business out on the street like that?"
I told Coach [Mulkey] when she was recruiting me. I was like, "I'm gay. I hope that's not a problem," and she told me that it wasn't. I mean, my teammates knew, obviously they all knew. Everybody knew about it.
The story produced from Griner's interviews will hit newsstands this month.
As the ESPN report indicates, Griner revealed her sexuality about a month ago, but she had never tried to hide it from friends or family. After going No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft to the Phoenix Mercury, she has been outspoken, and this instance is clearly no exception.
Baylor University is a private Baptist school, and the student handbook dictates that students are expected not to "participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching."
Homosexual behavior is one of the perceived actions of misconduct in Baylor's handbook, and perhaps that was Mulkey's reasoning behind repressing Griner in the way she did in college.
Griner led the Lady Bears to the NCAA tournament championship in 2012, was a three-time Big 12 Player of the Year and arguably the most dominant women's player in college basketball history.