MINNEAPOLIS – The latest ESPN Cover Story featuring Minnesota Lynx guard Layshia Clarendon’s pronouns, she/he/they, debuted across the network’s digital, linear and social platforms, according to an ESPN press release.
Reporter Katie Barnes (they/them) spoke with Clarendon about the struggles of coming to terms with who they are, his faith, and using her voice to advocate for the voiceless.
The WNBA has garnered a reputation as the most progressive league in professional sports, and Clarendon has become the WNBA’s most influential player.
The 2020 season in the bubble became synonymous with social justice, and Clarendon was at the helm. It was their idea to dedicate the season to the Say Her Name campaign.
As a member of the social justice council, they hosted conversations with Raquel Willis, a Black transgender writer and activist, and Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother.
Clarendon also lent her expertise to the “Vote Warnock” campaign and helped the players’ successful mission to oust then-Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler from the U.S. Senate, as well as the league.
Clarendon used their platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, women and Black lives.
But while Clarendon’s team had worn “Black Trans Lives Matter” T-shirts during the season, he hadn’t been explicit that those shirts represented his life.
After the season, Clarendon told the world that they were nonbinary and transgender.
Later, Clarendon shared that he had removed his breasts, and it retroactively addressed a tension Clarendon had felt for the majority of their life.
Clarendon was also recently named a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award as part of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, airing July 24 on ABC.