Sheryl Swoopes is one of the most recognizable faces in female professional sports. She has won the Most Valuable Player Award three times in the WNBA. She was MVP in 2000, 2002 and 2005. Sheryl Swoopes also won three Olympic Gold medals. As a member of the Houston Comets, Swoopes has won four WNBA championships. Swoopes is also the first female athlete to have a shoe named after her, Nike's Air Swoopes.
I'm not a hero
"My reason for coming out isn't to be some sort of hero," Swoopes said. "I'm just at a point in my life where I'm tired of having to pretend to be somebody I'm not. I'm tired of having to hide my feelings about the person I care about. About the person I love."
Two other WNBA players have come out as lesbian, but none as prominent as Sheryl Swoopes. Michele Van Gorp, of the Portland Fire and Minnesota Lynx and Sue Wicks of the New York Liberty have both come out as lesbian while they were playing.
Swoopes said, "I know there are going to be some negative things said, too. But it doesn't change who I am. I can't help who I fall in love with. No one can."
Sheryl Swoopes was married for three years and has an 8-year-old son, Jordan. "Discovering I'm gay just sort of happened much later in life," she said. ESPN.com identified her partner as former Old Dominion basketball coach Alisa Scott.