“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman.”

30 May 2013

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1977-1369859294-34Living under a rock? Then perhaps you haven’t read Kate Fagan’s great profile of Brittney Griner in ESPN-W and ESPN The Magazine in which she says so many awesome things that I have a crush all over again.

Too busy to read? Take a look at Buzzfeed’s piece, “13 Moments Brittney Griner Stole Our Hearts in Her ESPN Profile.”

Wish my school had enough money to bring her here to speak.

The photos don’t hurt, either. No they do not.

otl_griner_02_1600The only distressing part of the profile was the recent behavior of Kim Mulkey, Griner’s old coach at Baylor. I can rationalize but not excuse that behavior. And I’m disappointed because I find Mulkey to be a interesting gender case all her own. Oh well — a girl’s gotta live with the contract she signed with a conservative university. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

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4 Responses to ““I am a strong, black, lesbian woman.””

  1. Servetus Says:

    I haven’t followed this as closely as you — but based on what I am aware of (Griner alleges Mulkey told her to play her sexual orientation down), I wonder kind of aimlessly if it isn’t a function of an inherent problem in the cultural coding of sports in the U.S. That is, a place like Baylor is going to be sports-enthusiastic and willing to spend money on them for all kinds of reasons, many of which are related to its inherent conservatism. Not that a liberal crunchy university couldn’t invest energy and money in this sort of thing, or that it couldn’t be coded differently — but basketball obsession fits w/so many of Baylor’s values in so many ways. To me as an outsider, college sports seem so rigidly and obviously gendered. If you want to have the resources to build a great team, what do you do?

    • Didion Says:

      I totally get the need to do what Mulkey did during Griner’s college career at a conservative school, and perhaps especially given the need to recruit new players during that time. I’m certain Mulkey has agreed to specific conditions re: sexuality as part of her contract.

      But now that Griner has graduated and really made her sexuality public, Mulkey has been extremely distant. Even for this profile she merely issued a statement via a press agent. I mean, why can’t she just say, “I am so utterly delighted that Brittney is so happy with her life. I take great pride in thinking that Baylor played a role in making her who she is, and I plan to remain Brittney’s greatest fan and friend over the course of her career.” Or something.

      • Servetus Says:

        It’s hard for me to say because I couldn’t agree to conditions like that as a prerequisite to signing a contract — I am so far away from Mulkey’s potential considerations in saying or not saying anything. I guess what I’m saying is that the dilemma of speaking or not speaking, if you’re Mulkey in this situation, is one that’s deeply engrained in the culture of U.S. college sports. What would have to change to make it okay for her to speak?

        I guess her daughter plays for Baylor, too?

      • Didion Says:

        Yeah, you’re right — there’s a lot going on there. For a long time athletes and coaches have lived in a world with its own codes re: LGBT folk. So she may have a lot of reasons for withdrawing. But it just looks bad, considering that the overall U.S. climate for LGBT individuals has changed so much.


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