The following post is an excerpt from Brittney Griner’s new book, In My Skin, from Harper Collins. The excerpt concerns Brittney being disciplined while she was a college star at Baylor University by her coach Kim Mulkey for an incident in which she punched a rival player.
I had a meeting in Kim’s office the day after we got back from Lubbock. The NCAA had handed down a one-game suspension, and Kim decided to add on another game, to show everyone how seriously she was taking the incident. She also tacked on a number of obligations — most of which were not made public — as part of my punishment. I had to write a letter of apology to Jordan Barncastle. I had to put in a certain number of hours doing community service.And I had to see a therapist, a requirement I initially rolled my eyes at, assuming it would be the kind of thing you see on television: And how did that make you feel?
I sat in Kim’s office, and we talked about what had happened. She explained she had to take a tough stance, to make it clear she wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior, because what I had done was wrong, and now I had to go about making it right. But she also said she understood how frustrating it was to be me on the court. She saw how much abuse I absorbed without getting the same calls as players smaller than I am.
“You just can’t retaliate,” she stressed. “The blame always falls on the player who retaliates.” I knew she was right. Kim and the other coaches had said all along that I needed to keep my cool, that I would have to deal with a lot of crap on the court, players trying to knock me down to their size. But it wasn’t until I punched Jordan Barncastle that the message really hit home for me. That game at Texas Tech would be the last one I played without constantly reminding myself I needed to stay levelheaded. I wanted so much to redeem myself. The hardest part was that nobody really understood my history of fighting. I think Kim knew, just from us talking here and there, that I had some conflicts when I was younger — “altercations,” she called them. But nobody at Baylor, and certainly nobody in the media, had any idea how much I had struggled as a kid, trying to solve my problems and hide my insecurities by raising my fists…
Continue Reading…(via Huffington Post)