PHOENIX — Shortly after becoming the WNBA’s top draft pick in 2013, Brittney Griner made league history when she dunked twice during a single game.
At 6-feet, 8-inches tall, the center for the Phoenix Mercury has a lot of surface area but she said she prefers to keep much of her legs covered.
Both on and off the court, Griner favors long shorts, and she said she was surprised to see the truncated versions being considered by the WNBA. Griner said they resembled a triathlon uniform and were described by the league as “sleek and sexy.”
“I hate how they try to use sexy on us,” she said. “Like that’s the only way women can get people to watch our sport or see anything we’re doing. You’ll never hear a guy say, ‘I gotta be sexy.’ You’ll hear a guy say, ‘I gotta go hard, be raw, be fierce.'”
Griner, 23, said the league has heard players’ comments and she said she hopes the new uniforms — expected to worn on the court next year — won’t make players uncomfortable.
A WNBA representative did not directly address uniform changes but said the league would “announce them closer to the actual launch.”
For now, Griner said her focus is on the Mercury’s season opener against the Seattle Storm and her work with young people, especially those in the LGBT community. She said she recently launched a fundraising campaign to create a mobile app where people can safely and confidentially get advice, ask questions and find resources.
She explained why the app was created.
“One thing I found when I was going through it is that I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” she said. “I didn’t want to tell anyone I was getting bullied face-to-face because I didn’t want to get judged, I guess. So with the phone, you have a safe buffer zone in between you and whoever you’re talking to, and you don’t have to see them face-to-face.”
Griner wrote about her own struggles with bullying, coming out and family acceptance in her new memoir “In My Skin.”
“I had some dark days when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it to the next day,” she said.
Through her book and mobile app, Griner said she hopes to ease the pain that others might be experiencing.
When it comes to her sexual orientation, Griner said she’s “not trying to throw it in anybody’s face.” And when people will realize “it doesn’t affect the team at all,” then stories about gay athletes coming out might come to an end, she said.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night