Brittney Griner: Baylor isn’t a welcoming place for gay athletes


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In her new book, “In My Skin,” Brittney Griner writes about her struggles as a lesbian at Baylor University, a Baptist school where homosexuality is officially codified as a deviation from the norm and where it is expected that students “will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.”

Griner, currently playing in China during the WNBA offseason, never hid her sexuality at Baylor but never promoted it, either. In fact, Coach Kim Mulkey told Griner to keep “her business” to herself and warned her not to express her sexuality in public. Still, Griner’s sexuality didn’t stop Mulkey from recruiting her, even though she had been open about her sexuality since high school.

“Big Girl, I don’t care what you are,” Griner recalls Mulkey as saying. “You can be black, white, blue, purple, whatever. As long as you come here and do what you need to do and hoop, I don’t care.”

And hoop, she did. Griner was a three-time AP all-American who is the NCAA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, and led the Lady Bears to the 2012 national title. She also dunked a bit.

Still, Griner ponders the hypocrisy of Baylor’s stated views with the fact that the school courted her to play basketball.

“The more I think about it, the more I feel like the people who run the school want it both ways: they want to keep the policy, so they can keep selling themselves as a Christian university, but they are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes. That is, as long as those gay athletes don’t talk about being gay,” she wrote.

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