Words by Jason Cordner
In light of the recent #MeToo movement,where people have come forward with their stories of sexual abuse and misconduct, Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart has come forward with her own story.
WNBA star Breanna Stewart said she was sexually abused as a child in an essay published Monday morning by The Players’ Tribune.
“Part of why I waited so long to tell so many people — even those very close to me — is because I don’t want to be defined by this any more than I want to be only defined by how well I play basketball,’’ Stewart wrote for The Players Tribune. “Both things are a part of me — they make me who I am. We are all a little more complicated than we might seem.’’
Stewart describes her abuser as a construction worker who “lived in one of the houses” of a relative.
She says the man would molest her when she slept over at the family member’s house … and the abuse continued for 2 years until she finally told her parents, who reported the man to the police.
Stewart says she’s never been to therapy, but the basketball court “became a sort of safe space for me.”
Stewart, who led the Huskies to four straight national championships from 2012-16, wrote that penning the essay is “one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done and will ever do.’’ But she explained that reading McKayla Maroney’s account recently helped her feel “less alone.’’ Maroney is a gold-medal winning gymnast who detailed how she was sexually abused by a doctor who worked for USA Gymnastics.
But basketball was just an outlet to help her cope and Breanna urges fellow victims to step forward the moment the abuse begins.
“If you are being abused, tell somebody. If that person doesn’t believe you, tell somebody else. Help is there.”