WNBA Player Candice Wiggins Says She Was Bullied For Being Straight
“I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state. […]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 says not only was it a daily struggle playing in a sports league that still isn’t greatly respected or highly valued after nearly 20 years in existence…but that the culture of jealousy, bullying, and conformity among its players took a heavy toll on her and eventually caused her to toss up her hands and opt out.
According to Candice, one major point of contention between her and her teammates was her sexuality. As a straight woman, she was quite a minority in the league, and she says her desire to embrace her femininity and proudly express her attraction to men got her bullied and ostracized by other players.
“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.”
And as it tends to go amongst groups of “mean girls,” Candice say the fact that she was popular and pretty didn’t help matters much either.
“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.’”
Damn…who would have thought that kind of reverse discrimination was going on in the league? Sad to see something like that pushed one of the WNBA’s more promising players out.