Candice Wiggins, who played at Stanford and had a successful career in the WNBA, says she was bullied in that league for being straight, and that 98 percent of players there are gay.
“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 of place. There was a whole different set of rules (the other players) could apply.”
Wiggins, who played eight seasons in the league, abruptly retired from the New York Liberty in 2015. She was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions’ Bretibard Hall of Fame on Tuesday, where she revealed a portion of the league’s underbelly with reporters.
“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.’ ”
That the WNBA is chock full o’ gay players isn’t exactly a surprise, but 98 percent? That is a little surprising. And for a straight player to be bullied on the court (and, I assume off of it) is also news to a lot of people.
Wiggins says that the WNBA is still fighting for survival even after 22 seasons.
“Nobody cares about the WNBA. Viewership is minimal. Ticket sales are very low. They give away tickets, and people don’t come to the game.”
Wiggins now wants to start a career in Pro Beach Volleyball, and is planning an autobiography.