Basketball Star Brittney Griner Opens Up About Her Sexuality

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IApril 18, 2013

Not long after she was selected No. 1 overall in the 2013 WNBA draft, basketball star Brittney Griner spoke about her sexuality in an interview with Maggie Gray of Sports Illustrated

In the conversation, which also includes Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins, the No. 2 and No. 3 picks of this year's WNBA draft, respectively, they discuss sexuality in the sports world:

Shortly into the interview, Gray asked Griner about the difference between men and women sports figures coming out, to which the latter casually responded by revealing details about her own sexual orientation:

I really couldn't give an answer on why that's so different. 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.

Homosexuality in sports, particularly in football, has been a controversial topic of discussion this year.

In January, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver sparked debate when he stated, "No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do."

Of course, other NFL players have made it perfectly clear that they sit on the opposite side of the fence, as guys like Brendon Ayanbadejo and Chris Kluwe have openly supported gay marriage

More recently, in what was regarded as a landmark event, UCLA head football coach Jim Mora was featured in the university's "You Can Play" video, which encourages openly gay athletes to play on Bruins sports teams. 

Earlier this month, the NHL announced a new measure to support gay athletes as well. 

These monumental steps forward coincide with this interview from Griner, whose comments are simple yet courageous. 

Griner, arguably the most dominant player in women's college basketball history, is a role model to young girls all over the country. Everything she does is magnified and seen by millions. 

It's clear she is trying to use that power in a positive way to inspire others.

Griner's message is refreshing, and her comments stand to provide men and women around the world—and across the sports world—with the courage to be themselves.