Phoenix, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Former Baylor superstar Brittney Griner revealed that she wanted to admit being gay during her stint with the Bears but her coach told players not to publicly talk about their sexuality as it would have a negative effect on the program.
“It was a recruiting thing,” Griner told ESPN The Magazine and espnW during an interview. “The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn’t let their kids come play for Baylor.”
Last month, Griner reveaed to USA Today and SI.com that she was gay, referring to herself as “someone who has always been open”.
The 6-8 Griner said she had been open about her sexuality with family and friends since she was a freshman at Nimitz High School in Houston.
Griner explained she did not divulge her sexuality during college because coach Kim Mulkey and her staff were concerned about the program’s image.
“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,” Griner said. “They kind of tried to make it, like, ‘Why put your business out on the street like that?’”
However, Griner reiterated that her sexuality was an open secret at Baylor.
“I told coach 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,” Griner said. “I mean, my teammates knew, obviously they all knew. Everybody knew about it.”
“Brittney Griner represented Baylor University proudly on and off the basketball court, and she leaves behind an incredible legacy. I cannot comment on personal matters surrounding any of our student-athletes,” Mulkey said in a statement.
Griner was the three-time Big 12 Player of the Year and led the Lady Bears to a 40-0 season and the 2012 NCAA title. She was drafted No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Mercury in the 2013 WNBA Draft.