Lisa Leslie: I should’ve sued WNBA, coach after he ‘put his hands on me’
“Why I didn’t have a lawsuit against the WNBA and him personally I have no idea why," said Leslie.
Lisa Leslie is speaking out on TV One’s UNCENSORED and she is not holding back.
The basketball legend opened up about her regret of not suing the WNBA and meeting her father for the first time. Sitting in a chair looking directly at a camera, Leslie described the first time she met her father.
“I didn’t ask questions like ,‘where have you been, or what are you doing, or why aren’t you aren’t taking care of your children,’” Leslie said, per a clip of the episode sent to theGrio.
The star said she was 12 at the time and standing at six-feet tall when she first met her father. She wasn’t sure what to call him and just stood there smiling.
“I didn’t know what a dad was,” said Leslie. “I always say that my mom was also my dad because my mom and I mowed the lawn together. We moved the refrigerator and mopped the floor. We did boy stuff and girl stuff.”
She added she didn’t even know what having a father really meant.
“When you don’t really have a defined definition of what a father is in a household, you kind of make it up. You see it on TV,” added Leslie. “I just feel like he lost out on a lot.”
She added that internally by that time her father passed away, she had coped with not having him in her life. “I really clung to my spirituality and my Heavenly Father. I had already replaced the idea of a father,” said the former WNBA star.
Leslie, 48, hails from Gardena, CA, and attended the University of Southern California. In 2002, standing at six feet five inches, she was the first woman to dunk in the WNBA. She is also a four-time Olympic gold medal winner and won WNBA MVP an astounding three times.
But despite all of her accomplishments, she said there was one WNBA moment that she wishes she could change. She recalled a time when a teammate of hers got into a scuffle on the court so she went to assist her off the floor. She said that is when former NBA player Rick Mahorn pushed her, making her fall to the ground.
“Somehow in the moment of like, running one way and then in the direction and me turning around, I never saw the coach, Rick Mahorn, who is what, 6’6″, 6’7”? He pushed me, literally pushed me so hard that I was off both my feet and I landed somewhere back from where I was starting from the run,” Leslie said.
“Why would this man put his hands on me I will never understand that day,” Leslie continued. “Why I didn’t have a lawsuit against the WNBA and him personally I have no idea why I listened to other people because it was just simply wrong.”
Leslie, who is currently the head coach for Triplets in the BIG3 professional basketball league, took a break from her duties to school actor John Stamos on the court.
She posted a video of the encounter on Twitter and included the caption:
“Check out how I did in a game of HORSE with @johnstamos #ad It’s so important to celebrate women in sports and I love that #BigShot shares that message The Original Series is now streaming on @DisneyPlus.”
The full episode of UNCESNORED featuring Leslie airs on Sunday at 10/9C. Watch a segment below.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!