Former WNBA star Candice Wiggins, in a new interview, shared her experiences as a straight woman playing in what she said was a predominately gay league, calling the culture in women’s basketball locker rooms “very, very harmful.”
“It wasn’t like my dreams came true in the WNBA. It was quite the opposite,” Wiggins told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I would say 98% of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.”
Wiggins would retire after playing only eight years and was only 29 years old when she finally decided to call it quits. It was a decision that she says she made after realizing that the price she’d pay while playing in the professional league wasn’t worth losing her mind over. “People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time. I had never been called the B-word so many times in my life than I was in my rookie season. I’d never been thrown to the ground so much. The message was: ‘We want you to know we don’t like you,’ ” said Wiggins. “I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state.”
There was little around the league in response to Wiggins’ claims, but one significant response came from Chicago Sky star Imani Boyette, who wrote a blog post about Wiggins that was regretful in tone. “To say I looked up to you was an understatement. So, imagine my hurt when I read your article about your time in the WNBA,” wrote Boyette.