Ex- WNBA player Camille LeNoir says a coaching job offer was rescinded after the team saw a video posted online of the athlete from 2011 discussing her religious beliefs and denouncing homosexuality
LeNoir, was a star player at the University of Southern California, who went on to play for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics. After her playing days, she focused on working with young players. She was excited when her former college coach offered her an assistant position on his staff at New Mexico State University.
She accepted the job, but two days before she was to board a plane for New Mexico, LeNoir’s phone rang. The Aggies’ coach, Mark Trakh, had watched an online video posted in 2011 in which LeNoir discussed her playing career, her religious beliefs and her sexuality.
For most of her basketball career, LeNoir identified as gay. Now she’s not. In fact, in the video, she said homosexuality was “wrong” and “not worth losing your soul over.”
Trakh retracted the job offer, LeNoir said, and advised her to remove the video if she ever wanted to work in college basketball. LeNoir said she was devastated. She felt she could be an effective coach regardless of what she’d said in that video.
“I felt the job was taken away because of my heterosexuality,” LeNoir, said in a recent interview.
LeNoir is suing New Mexico State in U.S. District Court, saying she was discriminated against because of her religious beliefs and sexual identity. New Mexico State acknowledges in court filings that Trakh rescinded the offer, but denies any discrimination charges.
In court filings, New Mexico State says that LeNoir’s feelings about homosexuality shared in the video “would have had an adverse impact” on her “ability to effectively coach and recruit players who identify as LGBT.”