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Texas basketball coach unfazed by backlash on attire: 'There's no norm anymore, make it your own'

Texas A&M University basketball coach Sydney Carter was criticized for wearing a white turtleneck, pink leather pants, and stilettos at a game. She has since fought back.

Image Source: Sydney_Rene / Twitter
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Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 23, 2022. It has since been updated.

Sydney Carter is the basketball coach at Texas A&M University. She made headlines last week when she received unwarranted criticism for an outfit she wore on the court. She was spotted wearing a white turtleneck, pink leather pants, and stilettos at a game, sparking a debate online about what should be considered "professional" or "appropriate" attire for a coach. At first, she was shocked. However, Carter has since fought back, responding to the comments with an unbridled sense of confidence. She also received support from others on the internet, notably from rapper Nicki Minaj. Carter ultimately encouraged others to take pride in their own styles, Good Morning America reports.

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"I was confused," the coach said in an interview with ABC News' Deborah Roberts in an interview for "Good Morning America." "Just because it was something that I had always done. I wore the pink pants because we were celebrating or honoring breast cancer awareness at our game in Kentucky. I posted my photo and I had no idea that it was going to take off like this, so my reaction was shock." Carter played basketball at Texas A&M University and was drafted by the Chicago Sky in the WNBA in 2012. Ever since she began coaching the Texas basketball team, she has sported attire that communicates her personal style.

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She stated, "I'm still getting my job done at the end of the day, and not once have I been hindered in wearing high heels or leather pants or just if I wanted to wear denim on the bench. I'm not the first person to wear heels on the bench nor leather pants, and nor will I be the last." Carter takes pride in her style as well, regularly posting photos of her outfits to Twitter. Unfortunately, not everyone has been supportive of her self-expression. "Sometimes it just seems like women can never do enough to satisfy everybody," the coach argued, noting that some of the criticism she has received could even be categorized as racist. "I've never been one to make it about race or anything else. I just know at the end of the day, I'm a Black woman and I can't hide that. Nor can I hide the fact that I look the way that I look in those pink pants, in particular. So I'm not going to try to do that to make someone else feel comfortable, because it's what I feel comfortable in."

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Thankfully, folks have rallied to support the coach. Carter has responded with gratitude. She wrote in a Twitter post, "Representation matters. As a Black woman in coaching, I take pride in showing that people who look like me don't have to diminish our light to appeal to others, whose opinions never mattered anyway. I will continue to unapologetically be myself, apply pressure, and show that Black women can express our individuality while doing our jobs at a high level."

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She also offered advice to those who may be in a position similar to hers. "I say do what you're confident in," coach Carter encouraged. "Be who you are regardless of what people say they would prefer to be the norm. There is no norm anymore. You make it your own."

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