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PRIDE MONTH Special Feature: Black OUT Women in Sports



Black OUT Women In Sports 

Jessica Adair

Seimone Augustus

Nevin Caple

Layshia Clarendon

Fallon Fox

Brittney Griner

Amber Harris

Alexis Hornbuckle

Angela Hucles

Megan Mouton-Levy

Violet Palmer

Sheryl Swoopes

Sharnee Zoll-Norman


This year marks the 18th year of play for the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). In an effort to celebrate inclusion and equality, while combating anti-LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) bias, the WNBA will be the first professional sports league to establish an integrated marketing, media, grassroots and social responsibility program for the LGBTQ community, including a new special site- The site includes league and team PRIDE content, events and schedules, which will be updated throughout the season. Information will also be shared on the league's social media channels where the content will be aggregated with the hashtag #wnbapride.


As the WNBA embarks on a new season and new campaign to celebrate LGBTQ diversity, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is proud to partner with Athlete Ally to launch a list honoring Black OUT Women in Sports. This collaboration was supported by the special assistance of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The partnership is an effort to inspire our community and to demonstrate the vast talents of LGBTQ women of color who have emerged as leaders in the global effort for LGBTQ inclusion in sports. In addition to the world of basketball, these Black OUT Women in Sports have achieved major success in martial arts, soccer and tennis. These women inspire countless young people and make living authentically OUT possible. Take a moment to learn more about these dynamic women and recognize their contributions to professional sports.  



JessicaAdairJessica Adair



Jessica Adair is a former WNBA professional basketball player. Before joining the Minnesota Lynx, Adair played for George Washington's Women's Basketball Team. She completed her career ranked 11th on GW's career scoring list and was a finalist for USA Basketball's 2007 Pan Am Games squad. Adair helped George Washington advance to the NCAA Tournament in both 2006 and 2007. Her outstanding college career landed her a 3rd round draft pick in the WNBA's 2009 Draft. She was a WNBA champion in 2011 with the Minnesota Lynx.




Seimone Augustus is a two-time champion and Finals MVP in the WNBA. She currently plays for the Minnesota Lynx and the United States National Team. Prior to being drafted into the WNBA, Seimone played college basketball at Louisiana State University. During her collegiate basketball career, Augustus won the Naismith College Player of the Year, the Wooden Award and the Wade Trophy. During her senior season, she won the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, recognizing her as the nation's top senior women's basketball player. Augustus' outstanding performance on the court landed her the WNBA's No. 1 overall draft pick in 2006. Since that time, she's been named first-team all-WNBA in 2012 and was voted an all-star-game starter in 2013. 


NevinCapleNevin Caple


Nevin Caple is the Executive Director and Co-founder of the Br{ache the Silence Campaign, founded to advance acceptance within the intercollegiate and professional athletic community through various campus LGBTQ-lead initiatives. Caple, who also played Division I basketball at Farleigh Dickinson University, uses her experiences to discuss LGBTQ athletes. She often focuses on the necessity for pro-LGBTQ voices within women's sports and the positive initiatives Br{ache the Silence Campaign is implementing across the country.  


LayishaClarendonLayshia Clarendon



While in college, Clarendon was a finalist for the 2013 NCAA Senior Award for women's basketball. This award not only recognized her work on the basketball court, but also on the University of California (UC) Berkeley's campus and in the classroom. She also served as a member of the Gay Straight Alliance and as an Athlete Ally Campus Ambassador at the UCBerkley. Clarendon not only advocated for the LGBTQ community on campus, but also as a Student- Athlete note taker for students with disabilities. Currently, Clarendon is a professional WNBA Player with the Indiana Fever and was selected as the 9th overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft. As a proud and out lesbian, Layshia is a mentor to young women both on and off the court.


fallonfoxFallon Fox 


Fallon Fox is an American mixed martial artist (MMA) who has opened many doors in the athletic community for LGBTQ people. In 2013, Fox came out as the first openly transgender athlete in MMA history, making her an iconoclast of nearly unmatched proportions. In addition to competing, Fox is a public speaker focused on the empowerment of transgender people and raising awareness about issues transgender athletes face on a daily basis.


grinerBrittney Griner 


Brittney Griner is one of the most celebrated women's basketball players in recent history, and she currently plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury. In the 2013 WNBA Draft, she was the undisputed number one draft pick. In an outstanding collegiate career at Baylor University, Griner took home a plethora of awards and honors. As a freshman, Griner was recognized as one of the greatest shot blockers in women's basketball history. Her game-changing size and talent on the court helped Baylor finish its 2012 season undefeated at 40-0, the most wins in NCAA history.


AmberHarrisAmber Harris


Amber Harris is a two-time WNBA champion who played for the Minnesota Lynx. Before being recruited to play at Xavier University, Harris was tabbed as the No. 1 overall prospect by the Blue Star Index, making her the highest touted recruit Xavier University has ever procured. At Xavier, Harris was a three-time All-Atlantic 10 First Team honoree and 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year. She finished her collegiate career with 2,205 points and 1,226 rebounds, making her the second women's basketball player to ever surpass the 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds mark. Harris' outstanding performance on the court secured her the 4th overall draft pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft.


AlexisHornbuckleAlexis Hornbuckle


Alexis Hornbuckle is a former two-time WNBA Champion with both the Detroit Shock and Minnestoa Lynx. She is the only women's basketball player to win the NCAA Championship and WNBA Title in the same year. Prior to being drafted to the WNBA, Hornbuckle played for the University of Tennessee's Women's Basketball Team, as a key member of two national championship teams. She currently holds the mark for the most career steals by a Tennessee Women's player. The Detroit Shock selected her as the 4th overall draft pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft. In her first WNBA game, she set a franchise record with seven steals while playing just 19 minutes.


AngelaHuclesAngela Hucles 

Angela Hucles enjoyed a successful collegiate soccer career at the University of Virginia, where she was a four-year all-ACC player who tallied 59 goals, including a record 19 game-winners. Hucles is still Virginia's career women's leader in goals, game-winning goals, and total points. The Boston Breakers of the Women's United Soccer Association (WUSA) drafted Hucles in the inaugural 2001 Draft in the 12th round as the 93rd overall pick. Hucles is a 2x Olympic Gold Medalist, 2x World Cup Bronze Medalist and winner of the US Soccer Foundation's Humanitarian of the Year Award. She has worked to support individuals and organizations empowering children to live strong, healthy and powerful lives. In 2011, she founded the Empowerment Through Sport Leadership Series to promote and encourage positive change and leadership through healthy choices and lessons learned from sports and physical activities. Hucles first began non-profit work as the Board President of Dream Big! based in Boston and currently serves as the Assistant Director of Membership and Training for Up2Us.


MeganMoultonLevyMegan Moulton-Levy


span>Megan Moulton-Levy is a professional tennis player in the Women's Tennis Association (WTA), focusing on doubles competition. Prior to turning pro, Moulton-Levy played at the College of William & Mary. While competing from 2004 to 2008, she was a four-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Women's Tennis Player of the Year. Moulton-Levy is only the second athlete, regardless of gender or sport, to ever attain such an award in CAA's history. Along with setting a record in the CAA, she was also a six-time All-American who reached the semifinals of the 2006 NCAA Singles Championship and the finals of the 2007 NCAA Doubles Championship. She is proudly openly gay.


VioletPalmerViolet Palmer


Violet Palmer is an American basketball referee in the NBA. Before becoming the first female official to reach the highest competitive tier in a major U.S. professional sport, she played point guard at Cal Poly Pomona. She helped lead her team to the 1985 and 1986 NCAA Division II women's championships. Years later, Palmer was signed by the NBA to become one of the first top-level female referees in any major U.S. professional sport, and became the first female to referee an All-Star Game in any of the four major sports in the United States. In 2006, she became the first to officiate an NBA playoff game and in 2009, she officiated in the NBA finals. 


cherylswopesSheryl Swoopes 


Sheryl Swoopes is a retired American professional basketball player and the head coach of the women's basketball team at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to coaching, Sheryl was recognized as one of the best female basketball players of all time. Sheryl gained national attention by scoring over 1,000 points in 46 games. She reached this milestone accomplishment in a shorter period of time than anyone else in Texas Tech University's history. Along with her all-time scoring record, she displayed her outstanding talent in the 1993 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, where she proved to be a key player by scoring 47 points to help Texas Tech defeat Ohio State in the final game. Soon after, Sheryl was named Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Final Four Championships. After graduating from Texas Tech University, Sheryl continued her success on the court with the USA Basketball Women's National Team. Throughout her career, she was able to help the U.S. Olympic Team win gold in 1996, along with helping the Houston Comets win four back-to-back WNBA Championships from 1997 to 2000. After years of breaking records in the WNBA, Sheryl announced that she would be returning to college basketball as a coach. Soon after, in October 2005, she became one of the highest profile athletes in a team sport to come out. Although coaching the women's basketball team at Loyola University Chicago is her first time in a coaching position, she is determined to continue her success in helping the program grow.


SharneeZollNormanSharnee Zoll-Norman 


Sharnee Zoll-Norman is a former WNBA professional basketball player. Prior to her career as a professional, Zoll-Norman played for the University of Virginia, where she was a 1000-point scorer and two-time All-ACC third team honoree. Along with being a 1000-point scorer, she is known for holding the Atlantic Coast Conference assist record with 785 career assists. Norman is the only woman in ACC history to post three seasons of at least 200 assists and did so in succession from 2006 to 2008. Her outstanding accomplishments on the court landed her the 29th overall draft pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft to the Los Angeles Sparks.




The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.