Sophia Young comes out against gay marriage, and opposes adding gays and lesbians to code

Silver Stars forward Sophia Young made her views against gay marriage and protection for gays and lesbians in San Antonio known publicly yesterday:

Sophia Young is a three-time WNBA all-star, an All-American while at Baylor University and a fan favorite. Well, that last part may be changing. On Thursday, Young made it clear that she doesn’t support same-sex marriage or adding gay people to San Antonio’s nondiscrimination code. In doing so, Young gave the WNBA, its gay fans and gay players, its latest headache.

WNBA President Laurel Richie disagreed with Young’s stance:

”Sophia has the right to express her point of view, however, I do not share her view,” WNBA president Laurel Richie said in a statement. ”The WNBA supports diversity and we are committed to the equal and fair treatment of all people.”

6 COMMENTS

  1. This has been all over the WBB sites yesterday and today. Young has been getting death threats and general abuse from several members of the "tolerant" LGBT crew including several prominent current WBNA players.

    People need to remember that she is entitled to take a personal position on the issue without being crucified by the clearly biased WNBA fan base and many of the lesbian players. Remember that Free Speech thingy. Young has a right too it too.

    It's pretty stunning to me that a group of people that are predominately progressive and "open" to alternative viewpoints are so rabidly antagonistic to Young. It appears that the "tolerance" thing only goes one direction based upon how she is being treated.

    Richie is 100% out of line to be taking a position on this issue on behalf of the league. It's her right to take a personal position but not to throw whatever weight the W might have behind a clearly controversial social issue and by doing so personally denigrating the valid personal position of a W baller in good standing. Just one more thing on the long list of reasons that she shouldn't be commissioner.

  2. Death threats are nothing new – Brittney Griner's been getting them for four months, since she came out.

    LGBT people aren't anymore tolerant than anyone else. They're just demanding basic human rights, like everyone else.

    Young would have to have been stupid not to think she was going to get a backlash, as a WNBA player.

    Of course Richie would have taken a stance. Any corporate head would.

  3. People who are sending Young death threats are fscking idiots, and they're not helping anyone's case.

    But pardon the rest of us for being biased in favor of protecting the rights of our fellow fans and the players we love. And pardon me for thinking that she's ignorant for telling people to vote NO on an anti-discrimination law by saying that she's against gay marriage. That's nice, Ms. Young. Don't marry a lesbian, then.

    Ms. Young has the right to free speech without interference from the government. Pardon the rest of us if we have opinions about her opinions. Last time I checked, the rest of us had freedom of speech too.

  4. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to state it as such. The fact that so many are basically fine with how Young is being treated speaks volumes.

    I'm interested in basketball and if the WNBA will ever be a viable professional sport. In spite of the opinions of "true believers" and the league itself most objective observers would agree that after a league has been around for 17 years it should be viable. Instead W attendance this season is just even with last season, which was the lowest in the history of the league and a full third lower than it's peak back in the late 90's.

    So the W has not arrived yet in spite of "3 to See" this year and Richie's stated objective to embrace LGBT fans as a "growth" strategy.

    Much has been made of Griner's sexuality by Richie, Griner, Fagan and ESPN this year. That is certainly their right but it might make sense for those in position to impact the future of the league to decide if the WNBA is a "movement" or "an instrument for social change" or if it is an actual business that is trying to appeal to as wide a cross-section of potential fans as possible in order to grow the audience and improve the financial results of all involved and ultimately secure the future of the W ballers.

    Whether a person is gay or straight this gay marriage issue is polarizing and in spite of how some try to frame the debate it is hardly a slam dunk either way.

    It is not a good thing for the WNBA or WBB generally to be going down this road. It's particularly ironic and distressing to see the LGBT true believers whom originated and supported the campaign to end "Bullying" and promoted the "It Gets Better" campaign to be so enthusiastically bullying Ms. Young. Irony Anyone?

    Finally if this spirals into an even bigger issue all it will serve to do is to reinforce stereotypes about WBB and women's sports generally that have been around for years. So I suggest people in general and fellow WNBA ballers in particular lay off the hate filled tweets to Sophia Young.

    People need to remember that College Football just got going. Sports fans have lots of choices of where to spend their money and time relative to sports entertainment. Potential fans may well vote with their feet if there is going to be all of this acrimony floating around regarding the W. I for one wouldn’t blame them if they did.

  5. At the risk of once again inadvertently creating a ruckus with my "aged" perspective…

    It's curious to me that such a position is being taken by a black athlete.
    Historically — from Owens & Robinson, through the Browns, Russells & Ashes, up to the "hoodied" Heat — there's been a political and philosophical consistency to such activism.

    Young's stand certainly breaks that mold. One must credit her for courage in her convictions, even in disagreement.

    Final observation —
    Wilt Chamberlain was a life-long Republican and supporter of Richard Nixon as far back as 1968. These views didn't prevent him from having a successful and happy life.
    Of course, Wilt was a lot bigger and stronger than Sophia.

  6. As to your comments on this topic, Abacus, allow me to expand on the shortened version that I offered earlier. (I always try the short version first, as I spend many years as an editor).

    It's been an assumption that racial, sexual orientation and other minorities are necessarily less prejudiced in their own thinking than their oppressors. That doesn't necessarily follow. People seek their own human rights, which they feel they should have had in the first place, but that doesn't necessarily mean they think others should have the same rights. Or that they see those rights on the same continuum.

    The African-American community has traditionally been anti-gay. I've heard the refrain "don't compare racism to homophobia!" from that community. LGBTs see it as the same type of discrimination. Similarly, as a teacher, I've seen more racism between Hispanics and African-Americans than towards whites.

    I'm not that surprised at Young's stance. She probably speaks for a small group of players in the WNBA who feel that way, but she's the only one to publicly admit it.

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