Two women on the basketball team at Pepperdine University are suing their former coach and school for harassment and discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
Haley Videckis and Layana White say that their coach, Ryan Weisenberg, “disapproved of their relationship and wanted them off the team.” The women say that because they’re gay, they were asked lengthy and invasive questions about their identities and relationship and even asked to produce records of gynecological exams. They worried being out could affect their scholarships, and White says the stress and depression even led to a suicide attempt.
Pepperdine, a private Christian university, admits gay and lesbian students but has a policy requiring all students to refrain from sex outside marriage, the suit notes. The women’s relationship would not violate university policy as long as they were not having sex, according to the suit, but they tried to remain discreet.
Nevertheless, the women say, they faced mistreatment. According to the complaint, Coach Weisenberg told the team leadership council, which included Videckis and White, that “lesbianism is not tolerated on this team.” He reportedly based his view on his experience as an assistant coach for the L.A. Sparks team in the WNBA; he thought the breakup of two Sparks players had an adverse effect on the team.
This kind of treatment must not be tolerated anywhere, anytime, for any reason.