Diversity On The US Olympic Women's Basketball Team
The 2016 US Olympic Women's Basketball Team adds the rainbow to red, white, and blue.
Last week, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Women’s Basketball Team final roster was released and there are some rainbow colors mixed in with the red, white and blue. Out of the 12 total members on the team, three of the women are out lesbians and well-known WNBA players.
Brittney Griner, the 6’8” center for the Phoenix Mercury and two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, will be embarking on her first Olympic appearance. And after a tumultuous summer last year involving off-the-court issues, Griner is poised for a rebound of gigantic proportions on the hardwood. She has the unique opportunity of both winning a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and bringing home another WNBA championship to Phoenix with the return of teammate Diana Taurasi—widely considered to be the best women’s basketball player in the world.
Last year, Angel McCoughtry came out publically on her Instagram account and has been speaking openly about her sexuality ever since. The Atlanta Dream and WNBA All-Star was overjoyed when she found out she was selected to play in the 2016 Summer Olympics. "It still hasn't hit me yet," McCoughtry told USA Basketball, according to the Courier-Journal. "Even from the last Olympics, it's like, ‘Wow, I’m really one of the best players in the world? I'm playing on the Olympic team?’” McCoughtry was the number one draft pick in the 2009 WNBA Draft and has been one of the league’s most popular players ever since.
In addition to being one of three lesbian professional basketball players to make the Olympic roster, Seimone Augustus is also one of four members of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx to make the team. It’s the third Olympic trip for Augustus, who helped the Lynx win their third WNBA championship title last summer. Augustus has always been a proud advocate of LGBT rights and was elated when gay marriage finally became legal. “I’d always been politically aware and involved as far as LGBT issues go, particularly the fight for marriage equality,” Augustus wrote in a personal essay for The Player’s Tribune. “That ruling was landmark. It’s incredible to think that there are children right now, at this very moment, that will grow up only knowing “marriage” and not “gay marriage.”
These three women will not only proudly represent their country when they take the court in Rio for the 2016 Olympic Game, they will also proudly represent diversity and inclusion. America, what a beautiful thing!
Follow Lyndsey on Twitter @darcangel21