DENVER – Baylor coach Kim Mulkey says she’s disgusted by taunting and insults directed at star player Brittney Griner on social media.
The 6-foot-8 AP women’s basketball Player of the Year is the subject of constant criticism on Twitter and other sites and Mulkey said during her press conference Monday that she’s had enough of it.
“I made a commitment my fourth year at Baylor that I’ll never read a message board, I don’t want to see any of that garbage. I don’t want to hear about it, because it’s just not right. It’s not healthy,” Mulkey said. “This is someone’s child. This is a human being. She didn’t wake up and say make me look like this, make me 6-foot-8 and have the ability to dunk. This child is as precious as they come. … The stuff she’s had to read about, the stuff she’s had to hear, the stuff people say about her, the stuff people write about her, it’s got to stop. That stuff’s got to stop.”
While the barrage of negative comments annoys Mulkey, Griner seems to brush them aside.
“I’ll go and search my name on Twitter, to see some of the things they say. They (school officials) tell me I shouldn’t read the blogs: They’re mean. But it doesn’t bother me,” Griner said.
She actually enjoys going on Twitter as it gives her a chance to be herself and interact with others. Just don’t expect to find her as she uses an alias.
Unlike Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame, who gained 18,000 followers after the Irish’s win over Connecticut in the semifinals, Griner enjoys living in anonymity. She says she has about 200 followers.
“I do tweet. I don’t have that many followers,” Griner said. “My name is not on Twitter. All the Twitter accounts, griner42, They’re all fake. I don’t know who’s doing them, but they’re not me.”
While Griner seems to take the derogatory comments in stride, her teammates don’t.
“My teammates get really mad at some stuff,” Griner said. “I’m the calm one, I know it’s not true. I really don’t care, they try to get in my head because they’re trying to stop me. When I go to a game and yelling, they’re trying to get in my head. It’s not going to work, really. You’ll see me smiling.”
Besides on Twitter, Griner hears a lot of taunts at road games. She’s well prepared for the abuse thanks to her teammates.
“We do it in practice to her. She gets frustrated in practice about it, but we’re preparing her for reality,” Baylor junior Destiny Williams said. “It’s going to happen during the games. We beat her up to the point where she doesn’t feel it in a game. OK, I’ve seen worse in practice.”
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