WNBA player Candice Wiggins has said there is a “very, very harmful” culture within the WNBA that saw her bullied throughout her eight-year career because she didn’t identify as LGBTQ.
Wiggins told the San Diego Tribune that she retired prematurely from the game, despite wanting to play two more seasons, due to the “toxic” culture in the league.
The four-time All-American at Stanford said she was targeted for harassment from the time she was drafted by Minnesota because she is heterosexual.
“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.”
“There was a lot of jealousy and competition, and we’re all fighting for crumbs,” Wiggins said. “The way I looked, the way I played – those things contributed to the tension.
“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’.”
Wiggins said she was the opposite to many within the league who think they have to look like men and play like men to get respect.
“I was proud to be a woman, and it didn’t fit will in that culture,” she added.