Haley and Hanna Cavinder’s popularity exploded over the course of the year as they grew their social media following and helped take the Miami Hurricanes women’s basketball team to the Elite Eight.
The Cavinders transferred from Fresno State to Miami before the start of the 2022-23 season. Haley Cavinder was the 2021 Mountain West Player of the Year and Hanna Cavinder was an All-Mountain West selection. The two parlayed their basketball prowess into popularity on social media, which helped land them NIL deals with several companies, including WWE.
As their collegiate careers come to a close, the Cavinders spoke to GQ magazine about their successes. As drama swirled over the summer for the reason behind it, the outlet asked point-blank: “how they might respond to the criticism that they’ve unfairly benefited from both their looks and their whiteness.”
The Cavinders gave a poignant answer.
“I think that … that’s true,” Haley Cavinder told the outlet. “We were put in a position to capitalize off of (opportunities), and that’s what we’re doing.”
“I’m never gonna sit here and not understand other people’s side,” Hanna Cavinder added. “… I know that Haley and I have worked really, really hard. And I don’t wanna ever judge someone based on what they can’t control.”
Haley Cavinder took her analysis a step further.
“I see it, though. I see why people will be like, well, they’re two White girls, they show their bodies, whatever. I’m not gonna deny that fact. But at the end of the day, what would you do? I wanna make this amount of money. I wanna be successful just as much as anyone else. But I also am not gonna deny that fact, and not sympathize and figure out like, OK, how can we help? How can we use our platform?”
Giving back is another theme for the Cavinders.
The former basketball stars mentioned the possibility of giving back in the future. According to GQ, the sisters floated the idea of returning to campuses to talk to student-athletes about making the most out of NIL deals.
They also opened up about why they decided to share their personal battles with eating disorders on World Eating Disorders Action Day in June.
“We had to stare in the mirror and really reflect on (ourselves) and be like, What do you want to do? Do you wanna help people? Do you wanna keep lying to yourself?” Hanna Cavinder said. “It had nothing to do with brands, anything like that. I wanted to show people, this is truly us. This is a different side of the Cavinder twins.”
Haley Cavinder added, “I think that also, being female athletes, it’s so hard in that world.”