FanShot

Homophobia still impacts WBB

19

ESPN The Magazine has a well-balanced and well-researched look at the impact of homophobia on the lives of coaches and players in the womens basketball game today. Though still present across all sports - mens and womens - it seems to be most deeply rooted in both college and professional WBB. The article makes for an interesting read, in part because of the striking parallel between Mack Brown's "family friendly" atmosphere in the Texas football program and the subtle way that the same concept appears to be used in Iowa State WBB recruiting. There are two situations that hit fairly close to home. One was the sad story of Emily Niemann, who was one of the main reasons Baylor won the national championship game in 2005. Her sudden - and at the time unexplained - departure from the school at the end of that season may well have cost Baylor a chance at a repeat. The most notorious case for Horns fans who have been following WBB at Texas for many years involved one of the greatest players ever to come from the Lone Star State - Sheryl Swoopes. It has long been the view of Texas fans that Texas Tech used negative recruiting about the "lesbian atmosphere" at Texas to lure her away to play in Lubbock - where she helped Tech win a national championship. Ironically Swoopes came out after many very successful years playing in the WNBA.

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