Breanna Stewart speaks out.
WNBA Star Breanna Stewart, an All-Star forward for the Seattle Storm, recently opened up about her history of sexual abuse in an essay published by The Player's Tribune. According to Stewart, she was abused for two years, starting when she was 9 years old, by a man who "lived in one of the houses" of a relative.
Stewart, now 23 years old, said she eventually told her parents of the abuse at age 11. In the essay, she describes how she gave a statement to police and said the man eventually confessed to his crimes.
"I don't know how to say this part. I haven't told many people," Stewart wrote. "I'm not the most vulnerable person—I don't talk about my feelings much—so this is uncomfortable. I was molested for years."
The essay, titled "Me Too," is part of the recent #MeToo movement started on Twitter by actress Alyssa Milano. Stewart also revealed how basketball helped her cope with the abuse.
"I'd only been playing basketball for two years at that point—community leagues and AAU. My parents had put me in the sport just to keep me busy. I was a kid with a lot of free time and nothing to do. Eventually, nobody had to make me go. I wanted to play. Basketball became a sort of safe space for me. But no space felt completely safe.
"I knew what was going to happen when I went to that house. But how do you tell your parents that you don't want to go for a visit—ever—without explaining why? I felt like I couldn't tell anyone."
"I’m still working through what comes next now that I have told my story. In sharing, I know that no matter how uncomfortable I typically am making things about myself, as a public survivor, I now assume a certain responsibility. So I’ll start by saying this: If you are being abused, tell somebody. If that person doesn’t believe you, tell somebody else. A parent, a family member, a teacher, a coach, a friend’s parent. Help is there."
Stewart is the most recent major athlete to speak out on her experience with sexual abuse. Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney recently revealed that she too was molested as a child, by U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
You can read Breanna Stewart's full essay, "Me Too," in the link below.