WNBA star Candice Wiggins said she was bullied by other members of the league for her sexual orientation.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Wiggins, who identifies as straight, said the culture in the WNBA was “very, very harmful.” She also says that she was bullied for her entire eight-year career due to her orientation.
Wiggins was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions’ Bretibard Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old pro athlete announced her retirement last March while considering a contract extension from the New York Liberty, but opted to leave instead.
“I was to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state,” Wiggins said in an exclusive interview with the Union-Tribune. “It was a depressing state in the WNBA. […] I didn’t like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me. My spirit was being broken.”
The four-time All-American says she was targeted for harassment from the time she was drafted by Minnesota because she was heterosexual and more popular than other players.
“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge. I would say 98 percent in the WNBA are gay women,” said Wiggins. “It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.”