WNBA President Lisa Borders says she was “stunned” by the comments of former player Candice Wiggins that she was bullied for straight and that her experience in the league was “toxic”.
Wiggins, who retired last season, told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the culture in the league was “very, very harmful” and that she was targeted throughout her career for being heterosexual and popular.
“When I first read the comments from retired WNBA player Candice Wiggins, I was stunned and disappointed. In my time with the league and my capacity as a fan before that, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a group of highly competitive women who are driven to succeed at the highest level on the court and constantly striving to help create opportunity for all members of their communities.
“In keeping with that, I’ve found our players to be earnest, heartfelt and eloquent in their responses to Candice’s comments and, as always, clear in their commitment to our league’s core values of diversity, inclusion and respect. Of course, it concerns me if any of our players do not have a positive experience, and I hope that anyone who feels uncomfortable would reach out to me or others in the league office.”
At the time she retired last year, Wiggins told The Associated Press that she “had nothing left to prove,” and gave “all the gas in (her) tank.”
“I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state,” Wiggins added to the newspaper. “It was a depressing state in the WNBA. It’s not watched. Our value is diminished. It can be quite hard. I didn’t like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me.”
Wiggins, who played eight years in the league with four different teams, said in the interview that she was planning on writing an autobiography on her experiences.