Former Baylor star Brittney Griner said it was an "unwritten law" to keep her homosexuality private so she would not dissuade recruits from choosing the school. (Barry Gossage/Getty Images)
Former Baylor women's basketball star Brittney Griner, who acknowledged she was gay in an interview with SI.com's Maggie Gray last month, said Bears coach Kim Mulkey told her not to be open publicly about her sexuality because it would hurt recruiting, according to ESPN.com.
Griner, the WNBA's No. 1 pick who will debut with the Phoenix Mercury on May 27, said the silence was an "unwritten law" meant to protect the program's image.
The 22-year-old reiterated she has been open about her sexuality with family and friends since her freshman year of high school and Mulkey and her Baylor teammates knew she was gay.
Mulkey declined to comment on Griner's personal life, instead referring to a prior statement that touted her as "a celebrated member of the Baylor family."
From the report:
"It was a recruiting thing," Griner said during an interview with ESPN The Magazine and espnW. "The coaches thought that if it seemed like they condoned it, people wouldn't let their kids come play for Baylor."
Baylor University, a private Baptist school located in Waco, Texas, has a "Statement on Human Sexuality" in its student handbook. Located under the label "Sexual Misconduct," it says that "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."