Brittney Griner, who plays in the WNBA, told ESPN Magazine that her coaches at Baylor University told her not to be open about her sexuality. Griner says that they told her it was a “recruiting thing” and that if gay players were on the roster people might not allow their children to attend the school. When Griner’s former coaches were asked to comment on her remarks they said:
“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, but I can tell you Brittney will always be a celebrated member of the Baylor family.”
The stance the Baylor coaches took shouldn’t come as a shock when the school has a “Statement on Human Sexuality” policy in its student handbook. The policy says:
“Baylor University welcomes all students into a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss and learn about a variety of issues, including those of human sexuality. The University affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God. Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm. Temptations to deviate from this norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior. It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.”
The handbook goes on to say that if you are having a hard time accepting the terms or remaining straight, you should visit the Spiritual Life Office or receive confidential counseling through the school. I guess that if none of the options are successful there is always the option of punishment for your acceptance or sexual orientation. According to an article in the New York Times, a former student was removed from the Baylor’s business school advisory board after they discovered he was gay. Being this intolerable to a person’s sexual preference is just unacceptable. College is a place where you learn about yourself and begin to grow into an adult by discovering yourself. It shouldn’t be a place where you hide who you are so you can continue to play a sport. Intolerance is nothing new to colleges or sports. After reading a few articles I learned that many colleges in religious states oppose to students coming out publicly, they would rather the team win than you be yourself. Brittney Griner went on to say that the women she shared the locker room with while at Baylor knew she was gay and no one had a problem with it except for the coaches. When Griner went on to the pros she told her coach during the meeting that she was a lesbian and asked if that would be a problem. The coaches response was no. In reality Baylor wasn’t asking Griner to hide her sexuality because it would hurt her chances of being drafted, she was asked to hide herself so it wouldn’t contradict the school’s strong religious morals. Time Magazine is calling Griner’s articles a step forward in college sports, “The Griner Effect.” Time says that hopefully through Griner’s actions and the outing of Baylor will allow college athletes to be themselves, open and proud. Because at the end of the day isn’t that what we all want, to be ourselves without judgement. No one should be denied that right or any right because of their sexual orientation.