On Brittney Griner’s uncanny ability to deal with disgusting comments
Baylor powerhouse basketball player Brittney Griner admits she searches her name to see what people are saying. Well, I’ve seen what people have said and I don’t know how she does it. Truthfully, she probably can’t resist. There’s something hypnotic about people’s ignorance that sometimes draws me to read people’s filthy thoughts. Maybe a part of me hopes that one day I’ll understand what makes people so mean and stupid. Maybe Brittney does too…or maybe she’s just curious about it all or finds it motivating in some strange way.
This week the Houston Chronicle did a short write up about the nasty things people say about Griner:
Female athletes have long been subjected to taunts about gender and sexuality, in large part because to many, muscles and femininity don’t mix. Because Griner is taller than the average NBA player and can do things on the basketball court no woman her size has ever been able to do, she is the target of particularly callous and puerile assaults.
All because she can dunk a basketball … better than most men.
As you might imagine, Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey has no patience for the fools who taunt her junior center.
“This is someone’s child. This is a human being, people,” Mulkey said, her voice shuddering with emotion. “She didn’t wake up and say: ‘God, make me look like this; make me be 6-8; make me have the ability to dunk.’
“This child is as precious as they come when it comes to being a good person, a sweet kid, a coachable (kid), one of the greatest players I’ve ever coached, probably the greatest, and the easiest to coach. I love going to work and seeing Brittney Griner’s face. She just makes me happy.
“But yet the stuff she’s had to read about, the stuff she’s had to hear, the stuff people say about her, the stuff people write about her … it’s gotta stop. That stuff’s gotta stop.”
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In a perfect world, it never would have started.
Griner, who turned 21 in October, is on Twitter, under an alias, but searches for her name on occasion to see what is being said about her.
It is often ugly. She handles it better than most would.
“My dad and my mom always told me it doesn’t matter what you look like. As long as you’re fine with it, it just doesn’t matter what people think,” she said.
I have to think that there’s something very offensive to many when it comes to a woman who can not only do something most men can’t but also doesn’t care to appeal to men while doing it. I say this because I look at Brittney Griner and see a beautiful girl–not just in spirit but in actual facial features. Yet one thing I always hear is how unattractive or masculine she is–not just in her tomboy demeanor but the total package. I don’t find that to be true. Brittney is pretty girl that doesn’t care to be pretty in the ways women are taught to be like, for example, the current flavor of the month, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins who, as a result, has folks insistent upon making her a premiere face in NCAA sports.
Griner doesn’t care if rappers want to tweet her. She doesn’t care if men want to come watch her play because she’s hot. And I really believe that this makes some people upset or uncomfortable. I know that my readers will immediately disagree…but I’ve seen enough men say things like “if you don’t have a full body picture on the web, you’re obviously ugly and fat” to know that there’s a contingent of entitled fuckers who think everything a woman does should be with them in mind. And there’s a whole other contingent of women who just can’t stand to see a woman be free of the thinking most subscribe to.
Then there’s others–both male and female–who think they’re funny. A lot of legitimate humor is based on gender and racial stereotypes and I get that…but sometimes statements aren’t funny they’re just vile and repulsive. Many of those comments are made by people who’ve probably only seen Griner’s dunk clips and have no appreciation for her graceful, powerful game or THE game of basketball itself. And I truly am sorry that Griner has to deal with that.
Just like I’m sorry that Morris Claiborne’s wonderlic test results leaked and was subject to taunting (including by dumb ass members of the media!) only to have it revealed that he has a learning disability. I concur with all who have said whoever leaked his score should be fired. But it doesn’t change the fact that the public is always happy to find even one nugget of info that temporarily makes them feel superior to these superior athletes.