Sheryl Swoopes , the three-time most valuable player of the W. Encouraged by an endorsement she received from a cruise line that caters to lesbians, she said she felt as if a burden had been lifted. For the last seven, eight years, I was waiting to exhale. Swoopes , 34, a forward for the Houston Comets, was one of the original marquee players in the Women's National Basketball Association and the first woman to have a Nike shoe named for her. She is the first high-profile African-American basketball player to come out as gay. Although empowered by expressing her sexuality, Swoopes admitted to her off-court vulnerabilities and candidly discussed a potential ethical breach: She had a secret relationship with Alisa Scott, an assistant coach for the Comets from to
For most people in her position — had a child with her highschool sweetheart, separated and fell into a long-term relationship with a woman who she met through basketball — the narrative would be of someone who had always been gay, and had hidden it from herself for most of her life until this moment. No one can. Do I think I was born this way? Or later, in an interview with Outsports:.
Early in her career, Sheryl Swoopes struck a famous pose. Appearing on the premier cover of Sports Illustrated 's magazine for women, her belly swollen from the advanced stages of pregnancy, Swoopes looked like an athletic version of Demi Moore. Unlike Moore, she kept her clothes on, a Houston Comets jersey, in fact. Still, the picture was provocative.