Though Sedona Prince didn’t play in the Women’s Final Four, the Oregon star made her presence felt outside of the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn. A couple of hours before tip-off of the games Friday, Prince was walking around the area with a small camera crew interviewing some fans.
One of those was a 14-year-old girl whose father said Prince inspired to come out as gay. The Wall Street Journal’s Rachel Bachman has the details:
“On Friday, a father from Michigan approached Prince and told her that his 14-year-old daughter found the comfort to come out as gay to her family after following Prince for a year on social media. Through tears, the father said his daughter had felt great relief.
“Prince wrapped the girl in a long bear hug, and the girl grinned.”
That heartwarming story embodies what LGBTQ visibility is all about. As the WSJ piece articulates — and it’s so worth a read — Prince enjoys one of the largest social media followings among all athletes. While she boasts strong numbers on Twitter and Instagram — 43,000 on Twitter and 256,000 on Instagram, respectively — Prince separates herself on TikTok.
There, she has 3.1 million followers, which is 1 million more than Nike, and nearly as many as Tom Brady (3.6 million).
Over the last year, Prince has posted an array of viral videos, many of which depict her performing adorable skits with her girlfriend. Prince’s most-watched clip is of her and her much-shorter girlfriend wearing each other’s clothes.
It has racked up 34.1 million views.
Trying on eachother’s clothes. Couple edition #couple♬ Body (Remix) [feat. ArrDee, E1 (3x3), ZT (3x3), Bugzy Malone, Buni, Fivio Foreign & Darkoo] - Tion Wayne & Russ Millions
Prince, a redshirt junior, rose to fame during last year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament when she posted a video on TikTok highlighting the sad weight room that female athletes were provided, while the men enjoyed a first class facility. The New York Times recently called it the “video that changed the NCAA.”
Prince’s expose prompted the NCAA to issue a 118-page report about its gender equity problems, in which it likened Prince’s post to “‘the shot heard round the world.” The NCAA has made some changes aimed at improving the experience of women’s basketball players, including a better weight room.
In a true win for equality, Prince has parlayed her fame into lucrative endorsement deals. The NCAA loosened its restrictions on college athletes’ ability to earn money July 1, 2021 — just four months after Prince’s viral weight room video. Over the last year, Prince has earned $300,000 in endorsement money.
By living an open life — Prince shared her coming-out story on social media during last year’s NCAA Tournament as well — Prince is showing how an out woman can thrive. She is an inspiration.
At least one 14-year-old girl thinks so.
Read the full WSJ story here.