Brittney Griner did not publicly announce that she was gay until after her playing days at Baylor.
But she was never all that careful about hiding her sexual orientation while attending the Christian university, and, according to her recently released autobiography, that was a source of tension between the college basketball superstar, her coach and the school.
"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 a Christian university, but they are more than happy to benefit from the success of their gay athletes," Griner wrote. "That is, as long as those gay athletes don't talk about being gay."
Griner, who led Baylor to a national title and an undefeated season, recalls Coach Kim Mulkey telling her while she was being recruited out of high school: "Big Girl, I don't care what you are. You can be black, white, blue, purple, whatever. As long as you come here and do what you need to do and hoop, I don't care."
But that proved not to be the case. Griner talks about being spotted with a girlfriend and having the encounter reported back to Mulkey. She says the coach would caution her about what she posted on Twitter and would ask her to keep "her business quiet."
Although such incidents seem to have put some strain on their relationship, Griner says she still loves Mulkey and realizes that she was trying to enforce the policies of the university, which is pretty clear about how it feels about homosexuality (as well as premarital heterosexual sex).
"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."