ESPN Cover Story: Layshia Clarendon Debuts Today Across ESPN

ESPN Cover Story

ESPN Cover Story: Layshia Clarendon Debuts Today Across ESPN

Katie Barnes Reports on the Most Powerful WNBA Player

The latest ESPN Cover Story featuring Minnesota Lynx guard Layshia Clarendon (she/he/they) debuted today across the network’s digital, linear and social platforms. ESPN Cover Story is the sports fan’s monthly ticket to the biggest stories on the most captivating athletes – told with inside access, bold reporting and unforgettable visuals.

The WNBA has garnered a reputation as the most progressive league in professional sports, and Clarendon has become the WNBA’s most influential player. The 2020 season in the bubble became synonymous with social justice, and Clarendon was at the helm. It was their idea to dedicate the season to the Say Her Name campaign. As a member of the social justice council, they hosted conversations with Raquel Willis, a Black transgender writer and activist, and Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother. Clarendon also lent her expertise to the “Vote Warnock” campaign — the players’ successful mission to oust then-Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler from the U.S. Senate as well as the league. Clarendon used their platform to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, women and Black lives. But while Clarendon’s team had worn “Black Trans Lives Matter” T-shirts during the season, he hadn’t been explicit that those shirts represented his life. After the season, Clarendon told the world that they were nonbinary and transgender. Later, Clarendon shared that he had removed his breasts, and it retroactively addressed a tension Clarendon had felt for the majority of their life.

For this ESPN Cover Story, reporter Katie Barnes (they/them) spoke with Clarendon about the struggles of coming to terms with who they are, his faith, and using her voice to advocate for the voiceless. Clarendon was also recently been named a finalist for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award as part of the Sports Humanitarian Awards, airing July 24 on ABC.

Read ESPN Cover Story: Layshia Clarendon here.

Watch ESPN Cover Story: Layshia Clarendon here.

The ESPN Cover Story: Layshia Clarendon video feature will air across SportsCenter throughout the day, along with a full digital package on the ESPN app and original storytelling across social.

More information on ESPN Cover Story can be found here.


Isabelle Lopez

Based in New York City, Isabelle Lopez is a Communications Associate Director for ESPN Films and Original Content. Her projects include the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 documentary series and The ESPYS, among others.
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