TheBigLead- Candice Wiggins, former WNBA player and a star at Stanford in college, was in San Diego to be inducted in the San Diego Hall of Champions’ Bretibard Hall of Fame on Tuesday. (She played in high school in La Jolla). She had some things to say about her time in the WNBA.
“I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state,” Wiggins said. “It was a depressing state in the WNBA. It’s not watched. Our value is diminished. It can be quite hard. I didn’t like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me. … My spirit was being broken.”
She then went on to claim that culture was a result of the predominance of gay women in the league, and that she was bullied:
“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply."
Meet Candice Wiggins, the first person that has ever felt uncomfortable in the workplace because of her sexuality. Sure, during the 99.9% of her life that didn't take place in a WNBA locker room was likely spent unintentionally creating an atmosphere that was equally as uneasy for her homosexual peers, but that .1%? Probably the toughest thing a member of an occupational minority has ever had to suffer through!
Look, I know it's not right for me to throw around inaccurate, hyperbolic statistics in downplaying what someone considers a personally traumatic experience, but it's just as wrong for Candice Wiggins to throw around inaccurate, hyperbolic statistics to make herself sound like the token, outcasted straight person. I've heard all the generalizations about women who plays sports at a high level too, but there is no fucking way that a league that employs approximately 140 athletes only employs approximately 2.5 heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that having a proclivity for penis didn't make it weird for this particular heterosexual in a largely homosexual working environment. It does mean that she blatantly exaggerated, and - in the process - trivialized what the gay athletes that came before her had to go through when they were sealing their lips as tightly as the deadbolt on their closet door in order to avoid true prejudicial backlash.
I don't mean to question Candice Wiggins "empirical evidence", but I would assume that being openly straight in the WNBA is a lot like being white in the NBA. You probably get fucked with a little more often and are on the ass end of a majority of the jokes. However, I can't help but think she should have just dealt with the ass pats that lasted about a half second too long and shrugged off the one-liners about her reproductively compliant bedroom gymnastics. I can only imagine how fast he would get laughed out of the league if Kyle Korver tried to claim that the run-of-the-mill locker room antics he endured were an example of racial bullying by his predominantly black teammates, and I don't see how this is all that different.
That said, I'm very interested to see if this defies the irrelevance of the WNBA and actually results in a significant outcry. A woman feeling harassed - sexually or otherwise - in the workplace is (and should be) taken very seriously, but is it as serious when the people she is pointing fingers are no longer heterosexual and male?