"People were deliberately trying to hurt me all of the time."
Candice Wiggins, a former WNBA player who retired from the league about a year ago, recently spoke with the San Diego Tribune about her time in the WNBA including the harmful culture of bullying and jealousy.
According to the report, Wiggins claims she was bullied for being straight and that her status as a heterosexual female, in a league that she believes is 98% gay women, made her a target for criticism.
She even says people were deliberately trying to hurt her.
"Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge. 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. 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.'"
Wiggins spent most of her career with the Minnesota Lynx, capturing one WNBA title in 2011, before playing for the Tulsa Shock, LA Sparks and NY Liberty.
She says the toxic culture of the WNBA forced her to retire from the game two years earlier than she would have liked.