Former Lynx guard Candice Wiggins, who said in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune that her WNBA experience was “toxic” because she was a heterosexual, heard some responses Tuesday.
Current and former WNBA players were empathetic to Wiggins but also disputed her claims in social media posts. An example came from Imani Boyette, who just finished her rookie year with the Chicago Sky. She posted a lengthy blog. An excerpt:
“Next time, I hope you ask your journalist to interview someone else who was there with you. I ask that you use real statistics. I ask that you not try to out other women. I ask that you try not to defame a league that gave you your platform. … The WNBA is about inclusion, always has been and always will be.”
Wiggins, who played for the Lynx from 2008-2012 before spending the final three seasons of her career with three other teams, said in the interview that 98 percent of WNBA players are lesbians, and she also said it’s depressing to play in the WNBA because “it’s not watched.”
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve declined to comment, and the WNBA league office told ESPN that it has no official response "for now."
ESPN commentator Rebecca Lobo, who starred at Connecticut and played for eight seasons in the WNBA, also took issue with Wiggins.
"I know I've been out of the league for a long time, but I can tell you that it [Wiggins recollections] was nothing like my experience as a heterosexual in the WNBA. I couldn't relate to what she was saying at all," Lobo told the Hartford Courant. "Covering the league, being around the league, having friends in the league who still play in the league, having frank conversations with those who are still in the league, I have never heard anyone say they've had those similar experiences or that they've witnessed anything similar to what Candice is talking about. But then again, that's her perception of what her experience was."
Lobo also told the Courant that Wiggins' claim that 98 percent of the players are lesbian "is absurd. That's just ridiculous. Did I have teammates on my teams that were lesbians? Yes. But there was a mix of all different types of women."
Monique Currie, an 11-year WNBA veteran now with San Antonio, also posted a blog in response to Wiggins:
"I've never witnessed the kind of bullying Wiggins describes in her interview," she wrote. "This does not mean it did not happen, but I'm proud to be a part of a league that supports inclusion and celebrates all players, regardless of their race, religion, or sexuality. We are a family made up of players that love and respect the game of basketball."
Mercury trades Dupree to Fever
The Phoenix Mercury traded five-time All-Star Candice Dupree to the Indiana Fever as part of a three-team deal that includes Connecticut.
The Fever also gets the No. 17 pick in this year’s draft, and Phoenix receives Camille Little and Jillian Alleyne from the Sun. Connecticut receives Lynetta Kizer and the eighth pick in the draft.