Strong statements from Candice Wiggins on the WNBA, to say the least:
For the first time in an extensive interview, Wiggins described what she said was a “very, very harmful” culture in the WNBA – one in which she contends she was bullied throughout her eight-year career. She also described the discouragement she felt being a part of a “survival league” that she said still struggles for attention and legitimacy after 20 seasons in existence.
Wiggins, who turned 30 on Feb. 14, abruptly announced her retirement last March while considering a contract extension from the New York Liberty – her fourth WNBA team.
“I wanted to play two more seasons of WNBA, but the experience didn’t lend itself to my mental state,” Wiggins said. “It was a depressing state in the WNBA. It’s not watched. Our value is diminished. It can be quite hard. I didn’t like the culture inside the WNBA, and without revealing too much, it was toxic for me. … My spirit was being broken.”
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.
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