Former WNBA Player Candice Wiggins Says She was ‘Bullied’ for Being Straight
By Brandon Simmons
Former WNBA player Candace Wiggins played only 8 seasons in the league from 2008 to 2015 but felt she had to cut her career short. Although she wanted to play as long as she could, off-the-court issues affected her greatly. Wiggins tells the San Diego Union Tribune that her time in the league was cut short due to bullying of her being a heterosexual woman.
“I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state. 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…Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge. 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.”
For Wiggins, she felt the conformity take a much aggressive turn towards her for her stance:
“There was a lot of jealousy and competition, and we’re all fighting for crumbs. The way I looked, the way I played – those things contributed to the tension. People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time. I had never been called the B-word so many times in my life than I was in my rookie season. I’d never been thrown to the ground so much. The message was: ‘We want you to know we don’t like you.’”
Wiggins does not feel that she needs to apologize for her comments and has strongly defended her view. In a follow-up interview, she said it would be “cowardly” if she did not say anything at all about what was going on and claims that former WNBA players she once knew have reached out to her and given her “props” for speaking up.
The main problem that likely caused any uproar, was the fact she dropped a number to describe the sexuality population of the league. There’s no telling as to what she saw but it would be just as irresponsible if a white guy got robbed by 10 different black people and said 98% of black people are thieves. That’s close to generalizing an entire group of people off of the actions of a select few. However, as for the bullying allegations, the WNBA has yet to begin any type of investigation but should do so. No adult should be bullied or harassed but they need to see to what extent these actions are occurring and whether or not this is true at all. The don’t have to throw a heterosexual pride parade or anything like that but at least be aware of what issues are developing and need to be corrected.
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