Brittney Griner Says Baylor Kept Her in the Closet in New Book

By: Erika Watts - April 20, 2014

While Baylor University certainly enjoyed Brittney Griner’s talents on the court, the former player claims that officials at the university told her to keep her sexual orientation a secret. Griner, who is now openly gay, wrote about her experience at Baylor in her new book In My Skin.

Baylor University is a private Baptist college in Waco, Texas. Griner played for Baylor from 2009-2013. To say that Griner, who stands at 6’8″ and has an 88″ wing span, was a standout at Baylor would be putting it lightly. Griner led her team to an NCAA Championship in 2012 and was named the AP Division I Player of the Year and the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player in the same year. Griner is so good, in fact, that one NBA team didn’t rule out drafting her.

While Griner’s efforts on the court were appreciated, she says in her book that she was encouraged to hide her homosexuality while playing for Baylor. Baylor women’s basketball Coach Kim Mulkey is one person Brittney Griner mentioned that told her to keep her homosexuality to herself. In addition to telling the star player to watch what she posted on Twitter, Griner says that Mulkey also told her to keep “her business quiet.”

Since Baylor is both a Christian university and includes the following in their Statement on Human Sexuality, it’s no surprise that Griner’s sexuality was an issue.

Baylor University welcomes all students into a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss and learn about a variety of issues, including those of human sexuality. The University affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God. Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm. Temptations to deviate from this norm include both heterosexual sex outside of marriage and homosexual behavior. It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.

Even though the school makes it crystal clear where they stand on same-sex relationships, the fact that Griner’s coach and others knew about her sexuality and tried to hide it so they could utilize her talents was frustrating for the young star.

“The more I think about it, the more I feel like the people who run the school want it both ways: they want to keep the policy, so they can keep selling themselves as a Christian university, but they are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes,” Griner said in her book. “That is, as long as those gay athletes don’t talk about being gay.”

After staying quiet about her sexual orientation for four years, Griner came out to the public in April of 2013, right after being selected number one in the WNBA Draft.

And, after being told to watch what she posted online all those years, Griner has since become very open about her sexuality on Twitter:

Despite having to hide her sexuality for so long, Brittney Griner doesn’t have any ill feelings towards Mulkey or Baylor University. Griner says she wouldn’t change her decision to attend Baylor, even with the knowledge that she would have to conceal her homosexuality. Even though Griner loves her university, she doesn’t see herself becoming an ambassador anytime soon, though.

“I would love to be an ambassador for Baylor, to show my school pride, but it’s hard to do that,” Griner said. “I’ve spent too much of my life being made to feel like there’s something wrong with me. And no matter how much support I felt as a basketball player at Baylor, it still doesn’t erase all the pain I felt there.”

Griner’s book In My Skin (cover below) came out on April 8.

Image via Twitter

About the Author

Erika WattsErika Watts is a former teacher, now stay-at-home-mom and contributing writer for WebProNews. When she isn’t busy navigating parenthood and writing, she enjoys watching college sports and reading. Follow Erika on Twitter @erikawatts83, Pinterest or

View all posts by Erika Watts
  • TOTAL TRUTH

    95% OF FEMALE BASKETBALL PLAYERS ARE GAY

  • Tired

    Baylor University is a private Baptist college. You know they promote Christian values, so why go there if you’re gay? Find a place that is more accepting of your chosen lifestyle.

    • awxford

      Promote Christian values? Like love your neighbor as yourself: Christ’s second commandment? Or judge not or you will be judged? Christ preached a new covenant, no longer the covenant of the Old Testament based on adherence to strict laws and rules. Rather a relationship based on grace, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. With the awareness none of us is worthy, implied is an attitude of tolerance and respect toward each other. Now that’s a Christian value.

      • JCWS1

        The Bible states that a man is not to sleep with another man, that goes for women too.
        Gays would be doing the world a favor if they keep their secrets a secret.

        • n m

          hey moron grow up it;s not a crime to be in love this is not the 1800’s i say live and let live ok jerk!!!!!!!

          • JCWS1

            You claim that it’s not a crime to be in love ?
            In God’s eyes it IS.
            In the qu e er society that prevails today, anything and everything is allowed but that isn’t the lifestyle that will open the gates of heaven for mankind.
            Ever heard of Sodom & Gomorrah ?
            Moron………..

  • John Smith

    If most people looked like her might as well be a man.

  • Holy Perv

    Boo hoo hoo. I’m sick of all this I’m gay I need attention crap. When was the last time a heterosexual defined themselves solely according to their sexuality. We don’t want to hear anymore crap about your sexuality. It’s yours, keep it to yourself..

    • n m

      excuse me everybody has the right to say what they feel it’s narrow minded
      people like you who make me feel sad for you

  • awxford

    Britney, as a Baylor alumnus who found it difficult to live in the “Baylor bubble” myself, I’d like to thank you for what you have done for the university as a student athlete, and as an alumnus. Your openness will one day in a more enlightened society be widely lauded. But doubtless it is helping others today who are tormented because they are different. Sic ’em Bears.

  • nick

    no offense to miss griner if she had such a problem she shoild have transferred to another school

  • Whozawhatsa

    So, no actual persecution…just a general feeling, huh? Sounds like someone wants to sell books, and they don’t need the support of the institution that supported them before. There isn’t a single person at Baylor that didn’t know. We actually still support you, Britney. I hope you come to realize that in the future and include that in your second book.

    Oh, and just so everyone knows. Baylor also equates premarital, heterosexual sex to homosexual sex. Neither are supported by the school. Mainly, because people aren’t supposed to have sex at school. They’re supposed to go to class.

  • I am Shocked!

    Yeah they kept it a secret because we all thought she was straight till she said it. This is so dumb I can’t stand that the Gay and Lesbian athletes want attention for their sexuality. You know what your teammates, fans whoever wouldn’t care who you sleep with just go do your job. Poor me I got a full scholarship and a good education and had to keep my sexuality a secret, wasn’t a secret their Brittany! Where is Captain Obvious when you need him

  • fedup

    big deal you lezbo sexual deviant, what do you expect from a private religious university…to out and proudly corrupt their religious values just to make you happy…whyh not cut to the chase and get a sex change and become the psudo-man you always wanted to become, and don’t forget to bring your “strap on”