When Britney Griner was at Baylor, she was the talk of the town but not all of that talk had to do with her game on the court. She’s without a doubt one of the most gifted athletes in the world and her name is known globally, but that still didn’t afford her the benefit of being who she really was — a gay athlete.
So much has been made about male athletes who come out but little attention was spent when Griner came out and it was almost an afterthought to some. As unfair as that was, and still is, Griner highlights her hypocritical treatment at Baylor and how she had to hide who she really despite the university profiting greatly off of someone they were silently ashamed of.
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.
The interview with Slate comes on the heels of a memoir that Griner is releasing that will detail the highs and lows of her incredible career thus far. But while she’ll forever be known as one of the greatest college basketball players ever, we must never forget the treatment she endured while riding a high wave she was forced to only half enjoy.
It may be possible for Baylor and Griner to reconcile but the first, second, third and fourth moves need to be made by a university that gleefully bathed in the publicity created by the talents of someone they were oppressing in the most vile of ways. It’s one thing to tell an athlete how to behave but it’s an entirely different violation to try and force them to hide who they are.
Thankfully, Griner has to hide no longer and is not afraid to tell the story that so many are living at the moment.