Earlier this week, former members of the Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team began making statements on social media about their mistreatment under coach Sherri Coale.
Current Arizona guard Shaina Pellington, who transferred in from OU before last season, gave her support to those accounts over the weekend.
In a pinned tweet, Pellington spoke to the public accounts of Gioya Carter and other former OU women’s basketball players regarding racial insensitivity by Coale. Pellington also wrote about the larger issues of support for Black and LGBT athletes.
Pellington began by retweeting Carter and others on Aug. 29, but made her own statement on Aug. 30, writing, “It pains me to see so many of my fellow teammates and alumni share the same experiences that I did at the University of Oklahoma.”
Pellington’s career at Oklahoma came to a rocky ending her sophomore season. She was suspended by Coale, and didn't play over the final five games even after the suspension was lifted. In interviews, Coale responded to questions about Pellington by stating that the players who practiced and played hard were playing.
Pellington was asked about Coale’s comments at Arizona’s local media day in October, 2019.
“There were a lot of things said, and I don’t know what I can and can’t comment on, but all I can say is you don’t have the accolades that I have if you don’t practice hard,” she told Ryan Kelapire.
Among those accolades are Big XII Freshman of the Year and being one of just three amateurs on the Canadian National Team that qualified for the Olympics.
Ten months later, Pellington finally feels that she’s able to publicly comment on her experiences at Oklahoma.
“You just don’t hear about it because it’s swept under the rug,” Pellington wrote on Sunday. “Or we have to turn the other cheek and be the ‘bigger person’. I had to do just that. I had to watch my name get tarnished with lies and false accusations, to show you all that I was beyond it... Well, guess what, I am DONE being the bigger person.”
Update: Sherri Coale responded to her former players' statements on Sunday.