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8 Nov

Candace Parker Says Her Daughter Was The Reason She

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for adidas

When WNBA champion and NBA commentator Candace Parker shared in December 2021 that she had not only been married for 2 years to Anna Petrakova but that they were also expecting a baby together, it took loads of people by surprise. The choice to share such a non-public a part of her life was not one Parker took frivolously. As she revealed in a recent interview with TIME, she only selected to accomplish that to send a message to her daughter, Lailaa, 13, from her first marriage to former NBA player Sheldon Williams.

“I at all times tell my daughter to be herself. I at all times tell my daughter to be happy with who she is. And I at all times tell my daughter to talk for herself and speak up for people who she loves. And I can’t say that to her if I’m not doing it myself,” she shared. “I don’t want her to ever think that I’m ashamed or not happy with our family. That was a step that we needed to take. But we needed to take it on our own terms.”

Candace Parker Says Her Daughter Was The Reason She Came Out, Revealing Marriage To Anna Petrakova
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 08: Forward Candace Parker #3 of the Los Angeles Sparks hugs her daughter, Lailaa Nicole Williams, after winning the sport against the Phoenix Mercury at Staples Center on August 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Within the interview, which also includes Petrakova, it’s noted that the couple’s relationship first began as a friendship after they played on the ladies’s basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia. Things would eventually change between the 2 as late nights spent talking evolved into sharing a kiss and realizing that they had feelings for one another. They didn’t see themselves marrying one other woman though, in order that they tried to cover their growing affection.

“We literally denied it to ourselves for 3 years I believe,” Petrakova said. “Then we just finally accepted it. That was an extended, hard process.”

The pair would get engaged in 2019 and marry that December in front of fifty guests who had to maintain their nuptials and their overall relationship private. But now things are out within the open (additionally they have a son named Airr they welcomed in February 2022). Now that all of it is, Parker is grateful for the positive feedback she and Petrakova have received.

“I used to be at all times against ‘coming out’ because I felt like on this society, these days, you shouldn’t have to try this,” says Parker. “Society had a way of putting this pressure on people to return out. And I don’t think it must be that way. I believe there have been quite a lot of media members who knew about my family. They usually supported it. They didn’t out me. Or they didn’t put pressure on me to reveal my living situation.”

“We live in an oversharing world,” she adds. “It’s best to find a way to decide on the parts of your life that you simply share and the parts you retain private. And I hope I used to be in a position to open up the door of conversations. And open up the door of how priceless it’s to have support.”

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