On Monday, former WNBA star Candice Wiggins told the San Diego Union-Tribune that she had been bullied due to her sexuality throughout her career. She went on to say that the league was struggling, saying that tickets are being given away and not used, therefore not reflecting true attendance.
Breanna Stewart, the top pick in the 2016 WNBA draft, appeared on SportsCenter on Thursday to discuss Wiggins’ claims, but she wanted to further clarify some things that didn’t air. You can read the tweets she posted, but here is a compilation of what she had to say:
Thank you, @SportsCenter + #TheSix @jemelehill @michaelsmith for having me on. It was impt for me to join my W colleagues in speaking out. I wanted to share some things we talked about that did not make the cut #WNBA #TheSix. I am not denying Candice her experience. I am truly sorry for any pain she has endured, but my time in the W has been very different.
I have found the WNBA to be one of the most affirming places you can be. Our league has been a leader on inclusion + progressive action. We also are young, but growing. The @WNBA can share specific business metrics, but there is no evidence to support we are not making gains. The #StormCrazies and all the little girls waiting after the game ARE evidence enough for me that what we do matters.
Let’s worry less about if 98% is “accurate” and ask why: Why does anybody care? Even if it was 100%, WHY DOES IT MATTER??? Second why: Why is this story getting so much coverage? Why are outlets who never write about us picking THIS 1-source story up? Regardless of her personal experience, her broad based stereotypical claims amount to an attack on the LGBT community and WNBA. I will not stand for that and shame on any outlet that would push a story with only 1 source making broad statements that do real harm. People must be accountable for the things they say. Words matter and #FactsMatter.
I want to make sure that every little girl understands that basketball is a safe place for her to be herself and achieve things. I see this as an oppty for dialogue. Like we stood with #BlackLivesMatter I am proud to represent a league unafraid of impt conversation.
WNBA players’ union president, Nneka Ogwumike, said the following in response to Wiggins’ claims: