From the San Diego Herald-Tribune in 2017:
Candice Wiggins, La Jolla Country Day alumni and WNBA Woman of the Year recently described the WNBA as a “very very harmful” culture where she was bullied throughout her 8-year career.
By TOD LEONARD
FEB. 20, 2017 6 AM
… Wiggins, a four-time All-American at Stanford, asserts she was targeted for harassment from the time she was drafted by Minnesota because she is heterosexual and a nationally popular figure, of whom many other players were jealous.
“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “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.
“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.
“People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time. I had never been called the B-word so many times in my life than I was in my rookie season. I’d never been thrown to the ground so much. The message was: ‘We want you to know we don’t like you.’ “
There is no published data on the percentage of WNBA players who are gay. In a 10-team league that employs 120 players annually, at least 12 current and former players have come out publicly in various forms of media.
Wiggins said she was disheartened by a culture in the WNBA that encouraged women to look and act like men in the NBA.
“It comes to a point where you get compared so much to the men, you come to mirror the men,’ she said. “So many people think you have to look like a man, play like a man to get respect. I was the opposite. I was proud to a be a woman, and it didn’t fit well in that culture.”
Of the league as a whole, Wiggins said, “Nobody cares about the WNBA. Viewership is minimal. Ticket sales are very low. They give away tickets and people don’t come to the game.”
The WNBA, whose teams are subsidized by the NBA, said after the 2016 season that the announced average attendance of 7,655 was its highest in five years. (Attendance peaked at 10,800 in 1998.)
Candice Wiggins is a daughter of Alan Wiggins, one of the more unusual baseball players of the 1980s.