The Daily Gamecock

Americans disregard gay female athletes

Basketball star comes out with little fanfare

A prominent athlete came out of the closet last week, but chances are, you haven’t heard about it.

When Brittney Griner, a three-time All-America Baylor University basketball player, publicly announced her sexuality in a news conference last week, most sports fans and media outlets didn’t seem to care.

While at first glance this may seem like an accomplishment worth celebrating, our collective shrug at the revelation speaks volumes about how far we’ve come in accepting others as a country, it also shows how we far we need to go.

In the past few weeks, we’ve spent immeasurable time speculating whether a major sports league like football or men’s basketball could handle a gay player, and the overreaching implications that such an announcement were to occur.

So when a professional athlete — who was the No. 1 draft pick and has been hailed as one of the most “dominant basketball players in recent memory” by The New York Times — comes out as gay during her first press conference, you would expect a little more commotion. Why do we go into a national frenzy over speculation about whether a male athlete comes out as gay, but shrug when a female athlete does so?

Unfortunately, it seems America has a double standard when it comes to homosexuality. As we anticipate the next gay athlete, we should make sure that we don’t do so at the expense of others like Griner.