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Ex-WNBA player Candice Wiggins rips league's 'harmful, jealous' culture

Ex-WNBA player Candice Wiggins rips league's 'harmful, jealous' culture.
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Former WNBA player Candice Wiggins claims the league's culture is "very harmful," saying that she was bullied throughout her career.

Wiggins was drafted with No. 3 overall draft pick by the Minnesota Lynx in 2008 and won the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year that season.

Wiggins retired last March after playing the New York Liberty. In an interview with the San Diego Union–Tribune, she described what it was like as straight woman in the league.

“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.

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“There was a lot of jealousy and competition, and we’re all fighting for crumbs,” Wiggins said. “The way I looked, the way I played – those things contributed to the tension.”

Wiggins says that no one cares about the league and that viewership and ticket sales are low.

"They give away tickets and people don’t come to the game," Wiggins said. "I want you to understand this: There are no enemies in my life. Everyone is forgiven. At the end of the day, it made me stronger. If I had not had this experience, I wouldn’t be as tough as I am. “I try to be really sensitive. I’m not trying to crush anyone’s dreams or aspirations, or the dreams of the WNBA. I want things to be great, but at the same time it’s important for me to be honest in my reflections.”

Wiggins retired with career WNBA averages of 8.6 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. She told the Union–Tribune that she is now working on becoming a pro volleyball player. 

- Scooby Axson