Brittney Griner: My Christian university opposed me being gay but nurtured my basketball skills

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

Openly gay basketball star Brittney Griner has opened up about struggles with not being supported whilst attending a Christian university opposed to homosexuality.

Griner came out as gay last year, and offered advice for young women looking up to her to “just be who you are”, and not worry about what other people might be thinking.

She has since spoken to ESPN, to say that coaches at the Texas university, where she played before being drafted by the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) asked her not to come out in case it put other parents off sending their kids there.

Writing in her new book, ‘In My Skin’, Griner discusses her struggles with being gay at Baylor University, the Baptist school which she attended, and played basketball.

The school is officially against homosexuality, and insists that students “will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.”

The star said she was told by Coach Kim Mulkey to keep “her business” to herself, and that she was warned not to be open about her sexuality in public. She says she never kept her sexuality a secret, but that she was not actively open about it either.

She reflects that Mulkey did recruit her despite that she is gay.

“Big Girl, I don’t care what you are… 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,” she remembers that Mulkey said.

Despite this, she goes on to question how the school can hold its views whilst also courting gay and lesbian athletes.

“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 writes.