Home Dawn Staley thinks something’s wrong with you if you don’t believe in her god

Dawn Staley thinks something’s wrong with you if you don’t believe in her god

Chris Graham
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South Carolina women’s hoops coach Dawn Staley thinks something’s wrong with you if you don’t believe in her god.

How we know that: she said as much.

“If you don’t believe in God, something’s wrong with you,” Staley said as her team celebrated its Elite Eight win over Oregon State behind her on Sunday. “I’m a believer. I’m a believer because he makes things come true. When you’re at your worst, he’s at his best. Look at him.”

How you’re supposed to respond to this: all well and good, believe what you believe, no harm, no foul.

Except that, there is harm, there is a foul.

It’s one thing for Staley, a UVA alum, to wear her religion on her sleeve, as UVA men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett does.

But, really, “something’s wrong with you”?

What if I write here, If you believe that there’s some god force that people need to worship, at the risk of being sent to some purgatory if you don’t believe and worship, something’s wrong with you?

If you can’t tell, I’m not among those who believe that there’s a higher power who does things like help a basketball team win an Elite Eight game, but also, I’ll make clear here, if you do, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you.

I’m all for people believing, or not believing, whatever they want to believe, or not believe.

Staley, on the eve of her team’s game in the Final Four with NC State on Friday night, not surprisingly, doubled down on the proselytizing about her god.

“I’m not here to offend anybody. That is not my make-up, that’s not my character, so if you’re just tuning in for one interview, and you probably heard it from somebody else who heard it from somebody else, and it’s hearsay, then you can have your take on it,” Staley said.

Fact check: it’s not hearsay; those were her words.

You want to say, just own up to it.

Good news: after trying to sidestep the controversy as being based on “hearsay,” she owned up to it.

“I’m not apologizing, I’m not gonna apologize for what I said and what I feel, because I know my life, and I know why things have happened in my life, and I’m gonna salute God as much as I can, because I know it’s not just my doing,” Staley said.

It’s not just her doing: as a player at UVA, in the ABL and WNBA, on Team USA, she had teammates, coaches, trainers to help her on her way; as a coach, her players go out and do the hard work to win the games that make her $3 million-a-year salary possible.

None of us do anything alone.

If she wants to attribute her success to her god, more power to her.

If she wants to tell people who don’t believe in her god that they’re wrong, whatever.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].