Friday, April 26, 2013

Brittney Griner the Postergirl

           Brittney Griner Nike

Brittney Griner, the first pick of the WNBA draft and once rumored draftee for the NBA, has recently come out as a lesbian. She has been mercilessly insulted during her basketball career, and probably throughout her life, for her more masculine voice, appearance, and strength. Despite being under such a microscope, she has handled it well and has gained the respect of at least the basketball community. It takes a big person to be someone who is "always open with who [she is]," but now she will have to be even more so because now she represents three different groups who struggle to gain respect among the rest of her peers. She is a gay, black female.  She has been under scrutiny for having a more masculine appearance than other women, the tonality of her voice being targeted quite often.  While I have not seen criticisms for her race in the media or on social media sites, she more than likely has been insulted for that as well.  To top all of this off, she now has come out of the closet right as she is about to join the WNBA.

I really admire because she never makes excuses for who she is, but simply accepts it and leaves it up to other people to do the same. She does not concern herself with the taunts of others, but focuses on the people who matter, like friends, family, and teammates.  This kind of attitude, I think, makes her the perfect person to represent all three of these groups.  She has recently signed an endorsement deal with Nike as they were keen to endorse an openly gay player.  I think it is beneficial to combine movements, such as these three, because it makes their fights stronger.  Obviously, these are three pieces of her person that she cannot control, but she is still insulted because of them.  She owns who she is and is continuing to follow her dreams without paying heed to the naysayers.  I think it is wonderful that all of these movements have come together under the umbrella of basketball and sports in general because some sports fans may be among the naysayers, but if they see one of the players they keep up with regularly representing these groups, they will be more likely to accept and defend her. 

Do you think it is beneficial to groups struggling for equal rights to join forces? Does that detract from a group’s individual cause? Also, do you think these causes have a better chance when tied together with a popular pastime, such as basketball?

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