Olympian Elena Delle Donne has revealed that she is gay. She also announced her engagement to her long-time partner.
The reigning WNBA MVP told reporters in the Rio Olympics that her recent Vogue magazine interview is not a totally coming out interview. She explained that she and fiancée Amanda Clifton have been together for a long time now.
Even before the engagement announcement, a photo of Clifton has offered hints about it. Last month, she shared on social media an image of her kissing a dog next to a sign that read, “Marry Me?” The image was captioned: “I obviously said yes!” According to Vogue, the couple got engaged last June 2.
Currently, the Chicago Sky player is playing for Team USA in Rio. Elena Delle Donne is the third member of the U.S. women’s basketball team in Rio that had announced same-sex marriage, ESPN wrote. In 2015, Seimone Augustus married actress LaTaya Varnier. Brittney Griner married fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson in May 2015. Griner, however, filed for divorce less than a month after they exchanged vows.
Delle Donne hopes that if there are any gay men in the NBA, they will get the same support she has now. “I would love to see that (sort of support in the NBA), if there are any (gay men). No one should have to hide who they are. That’s where I hope our society moves to, where it’s not a story. It’s normal,” she said.
Elena Delle Donne started playing in the WNBA in 2013. She was named Rookie of the Year during that time. She was declared WNBA Most Valuable Player three years later. This year, 26-year-old Delle Donne became part of the U.S. women’s basketball team in the Rio Olympics.
NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum regarded Delle Donne as the Stephen Curry of WNBA. Tatum said the Olympian is once-in-a generation kind of player.