Texas A&M coach Sydney Carter responds to outfit criticism: 'I’m unapologetically myself every day'

·4 min read
Texas A&M coach Sydney Carter responds to criticism of her game-day outfit. (Photo: Instagram)
Texas A&M coach Sydney Carter responds to criticism of her game-day outfit. (Photo: Instagram)

Sydney Carter has had a lengthy career as a basketball player after getting involved in the sport as a young girl, playing at the collegiate level, in the WBNA and even professionally overseas. Despite her accomplishments on the court, the Texas A&M women's basketball player development coach and assistant recruiting coordinator made headlines last week for her game day outfit.

Carter tells Yahoo Life that she hadn't strayed from tradition when it came to her Feb. 7 post that showcased the outfit that she wore courtside to her team's game. "I literally post every outfit," she says. The white turtleneck and pink leather pants that she was wearing for Game 22, however, resulted in an unsolicited reaction that was discussed across the internet.

"Is this outfit appropriate as a basketball coach?" a man named Wayne Walker wrote on Facebook alongside photos of Carter's look. He also asked that people share their opinions, sparking a debate about what Carter should wear if she "wants to be respected," among thousands of people who responded.

"I’m not feeling it at all if she is coaching basketball. Looks like club gear and you want to be taken serious," one person commented.

Another wrote, "Inappropriate period. She should get ticket/fine whatever."

A Twitter user challenged Walker's post while defending Carter from the debate. "What's wrong with it???" Harris wrote. "Moral of the story, shut up and let black women be great."

Carter says that being a Black woman in sports is exactly where the controversy lies.

"I just think that people are uncomfortable with a Black woman being in a power position," she explains. "When you see a Black woman who is actually confident and embracing herself, I think that that's very intimidating."

In fact, the discussion of both her abilities and her looks is something that she's experienced throughout her career as a player on the court herself.

"You hear so many times that people don't want to watch women play basketball, because there's too many that look manly, or they play like a guy or don't play enough like guys," she says. "Women can never satisfy anybody in any aspect of life. Just as a woman, it's hard enough. It's hard enough that we're not paid the same or that people think that we can't do some of the same things or something as well as men in a male-dominated industry."

While she maintains that she doesn't dress a certain way to "get the people talking," Carter says that the expression of her femininity in particular is what seems to trigger critics.

"I'm unapologetically myself every day. And I could care less if anybody thinks that I'm being extra," she continues. "I'm not gonna turn up turn my light off because somebody else is offended or intimidated by the fact that I embrace myself."

Despite the criticism that she's faced, the overwhelmingly positive feedback from many others has made Carter's "heart smile." She's even received support from her Texas A&M team who posted photos of Carter walking onto the court in a leather skirt set with the caption, "Let them talk. We got your back."

"I just think that my team and other people around see that I don't just say things if I don't live by them. And I think that it's important for them to know that if you're going to be surrounded by me, you're going to understand that it is okay to be yourself," Carter says. "I think a lot of college kids these days struggle with being confident and embracing who they really are because they are afraid of what the world will say. And I hope that that I am a living example of who cares what they say."

She continues, "I wasn't trying to kick down any barriers. At the end of the day, I wasn't trying to set a trend. I just wanted to be myself."

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