Check out a related post on Jason Collins.
As with pro basketball, I do not follow college basketball on my own. I pay enough attention so I can hold conversations with my wife who rather avidly and faithfully follows both the women’s and men’s teams from a university in Durham, North Carolina. The result is that I do know who Brittney Griner is – although I could not run down the details of her amazing career.
Earlier this evening, I posted about Jason Collins coming out of the closet.
I am grateful to my friends Margaret Aymer Oget and Shaya Gregory Poku for reminding me that Brittney Griner left the closet on April 17. In doing so, they helped me realize that I should have posted about her actions as well.
The words I wrote about Jason Collins apply to Brittney Griner as well:
But as of today – and that today should have been April 17, Brittney Griner is one of my heroes.
I give thanks for the witness and courage and faith and grace of Brittney Griner. I pray that her actions will make life better, safer, fuller, more human, and more humane for the people I know and love and for all the LGBTQ members of the human family.
A number of questions need discussion as we ponder the different reactions to the same act of coming out by Brittney Griner and Jason Collins. For starters:
- What role does sexism play?
- What role does patriarchy play?
- Are female athletes stereotyped as lesbians?
- Do female athletes who come out fuel male fantasies while male athletes who come out fuel male fears?
- Does a greater level of tolerance related to sexual orientation exist in the WNBA and women’s sports than in men’s sports? If so, why is that and what role does it play?
No doubt we need to address other questions – many other questions. For now, those make a good beginning.
And for me, one part of the answer lies in thanking Margaret Aymer Oget and Shaya Gregory Poku for raising these questions for me, no matter how poorly I have addressed them at the moment. And another part lies in saying:
Thank you, Brittney Griner.
See you along the Trail.