Texas A&M University assistant coach Sydney Carter isn’t apologizing to critics furious over her recent fashion choices. The former college basketball star made headlines last week after she showed up to a women’s game wearing a white turtleneck, pink leather pants and stilettos.
Someone tweeted, Sydney Carter, Women’s basketball coach, is her outfit appropriate as a basketball coach?
The 31-year-old told Yahoo Sports that the way she dresses isn’t for public opinion. “I’m unapologetically myself every day, I could care less if anybody thinks that I’m being extra. I’m not gonna turn my light off because somebody else is offended or intimidated by the fact that I embrace myself.”
Carter, who is Black, shared that she believed that the backlash from her Game 22 ensemble was in part garnered by the reality of her race. “I just think that people are uncomfortable with a Black woman being in a power position,” she said. “When you see a Black woman who is actually confident and embracing herself, I think that that’s very intimidating.”
The former San Antonio Stars player told the outlet she’s experienced many obstacles throughout her career being a Black woman in the sports space.
“You hear so many times that people don’t want to watch women play basketball because there’s too many that look manly, or they play like a guy or don’t play enough like guys,” she shared. “Women can never satisfy anybody in any aspect of life. Just as a woman, it’s hard enough. It’s hard enough that we’re not paid the same or that people think that we can’t do some of the same things or something as well as men in a male-dominated industry.”
The ladies on Carter’s team rallied behind their mentor with a heartwarming statement on Instagram following the incident. “Let them talk,” the Aggie women’s basketball team wrote in a caption alongside two photos of Carter walking onto the court in a cream leather skirt set and matching high heels. “We got your back.”
Instagram users echoed similar statements in the comments section, including one user who wrote, “I coach high school basketball and after seeing her in those pink leather pants I worn leather pants to coach the next night! Thanks for inspiring me to be my best!” Another person wrote, “Started following you because of this!! I love the clothes and never dim your sparkle for another. You go Queen!!!!!”
Carter told the publication she isn’t into doing things for the sake of gaining attention. “I just think that my team and other people around see that I don’t just say things if I don’t live by them. And I think that it’s important for them to know that if you’re going to be surrounded by me, you’re going to understand that it is okay to be yourself.”
Still, she hopes this serves as a lesson to those struggling “with being confident and embracing who they really are.” She added, “I wasn’t trying to kick down any barriers. At the end of the day, I wasn’t trying to set a trend. I just wanted to be myself.”
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