Pro Basketball Star Brittney Griner Comes Out of the Closet. Does Anyone Care?

Philly Executive Director of GO! Athletes Anna Aagenes says the story isn't getting the media attention it deserves.

This week, WNBA star Brittney Griner came out of the closet in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Griner is the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick and one of the most exciting up-and-coming figures in women’s sports, but her revelation didn’t make much of a ripple in the media, including, I’m ashamed to say, on G Philly.

In an opinion piece published this morning on Outsports, local GO! Athletes Executive Director Anna Aagenes writes about “why athletes like Brittney Griner deserve our support and attention.” Here’s an excerpt:

Undoubtedly, Brittney is a basketball legend-in-the-making, and the fact that people aren’t making a big deal out of her coming out is both shocking and disappointing. Imagine if this happened with the same caliber athlete on a men’s team. … I assure you, my Facebook page would be exploding with friends and family saying, “Did you see this? It’s all over the news!” I’d no doubt receive text messages and voice mails from well-intentioned friends about how sports culture has “finally changed.”

With all the recent media frenzy over pro male athletes coming out or not coming out, we lose our focus on the incredible female athletes who have come out. Here are a few recent headlines regarding coming out in sports from this month: “Leagues prepare for day when gay athlete comes out”; “Professional athletes coming out would be biggest step yet for gay rights”; “Major Sports Leagues Prepare for the ‘I’m Gay’ Disclosure.” The list goes on.

I hate to break it to them, but there are already out pro athletes. They are women.

You can— and should — read the rest of her piece here. It goes on to tackle the double standard in mens’ and womens’ sports, and roll-calls a whole host of pro female athletes who have been out of the closet for years.

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