Outside The Hashmarks
February 27, 2017
After last week, I thought that I had stumbled across the hottest take in sports, arguing that blowouts should be embraced. While, of course, I have no control over the world of dumb sports opinions, there isn’t much that can top my unwavering support for clearly superior teams clobbering hapless tournament filler. Then women’s basketball gave us another gift of a take. A take so hot, so absurd, that I absolutely had to dedicate an entire column to a response. Meet Candice Wiggins, former WNBA player, aggressively straight woman, and the proud owner of the most confounding opinion in sports. Per Wiggins, 98 percent of the WNBA is gay. Also, they hate straight people. Because they’re gay, you see, and she is a persecuted minority for being outspoken in her defense of her sexuality. If that makes any sense to you, good! We’re on the same page.
Let’s get this out of the way, now. This is the most absurd of hot takes. Do not, under any circumstances, take this take seriously. First of all, 98 percent of the WNBA is not gay. Second, there is no way she could know that, even if it were true. Third of all, I legitimately doubt that she was bullied for not being gay. Consider every other bullying story in sports. Someone accuses a teammate of bullying, and a bunch of people say they saw the same thing, but hand-wave it as “meh, that’s sports, though.” Wiggins hasn’t even gotten the “that’s sports” response. Basically, a handful of players have called her out. The Chicago Sky’s Imani Boyette called her out in a much more fair and diplomatic fashion than I am capable of, though it still basically boiled down to saying that Wiggins’ claim is stupid, and that it seems more like she has an axe to grind with the lesbian players of the WNBA. I highly suggest reading her letter, titled “Dear Candice.” It’s really good.
However, that doesn’t make the claim go away. If someone bullied Wiggins, that isn’t okay. The league needs to put an end to that if it’s happening. But on the other hand, we need to understand what Wiggins means when she says bullying happened. If players just didn’t want to hear her brag about being straight all the time, that’s not bullying. That’s life. And let’s not forget that Wiggins’ allegations reinforces existing stereotypes that exist labeling female athletes as lesbians. No, 98 percent of the WNBA isn’t gay. And even if it was, it wouldn’t matter. The players’ sexuality should never be a topic of national discussion. It’s not our place, and it’s not Wiggins’. This is one hot take we shouldn’t celebrate.