Griner, rebuked at an airport

Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury center who went through hell during her incarceration in a Russian penitentiary on a drug-trafficking-related charge, He suffered a very unpleasant incident, when he was traveling with his team, at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. A Texan by birth, Griner (32 years old) had played two games, on Wednesday and Friday, in Dallas against the Wings.

Alex Stein, a character who tries to gain relevance for his YouTube channel with his provocations to politicians and public figures, rebuked Griner with comments about how the question of if he still hated America after his ordeal in Russiawhich ended with his release thanks to a prisoner exchange in which Russia received the arms dealer Viktor Bout.

The first reaction of the WNBA was to regret what happened and remember that with Griner, due to his particular situation in terms of security, has permission to travel on private flights and not in the commercials that the franchises continue to use, one of the great workhorses of the players today, within their fight for the growth of the competition: “This is the work of a social media provocateur, something inappropriate and unfortunate. The safety of Brittney Griner and all WNBA players is a top priority. The League worked with the Phoenix Mercury and Griner to ensure that she would travel safely, with security staff at all times and private flights.”

Phoenix Mercury, for their part, also issued a statement: “We will do everything in our power to protect our players. We are committed to supporting Brittney Griner and the other cases of Americans being held hostage outside their country. We will continue to support marginalized communities and fight the kind of hate we have suffered today. No one, for reasons of their identity, should ever have for their safety. We will coordinate with the WNBA on our next steps.”

Brianna Turner, a Mercury player, spoke on her social networks about the incident: “The safety of players on trips should be a fundamental issue. People following a player with a camera and saying certain things to her is not acceptable. It’s bullying. ANDhe team gathered in a corner, nervous and not knowing what to do. We demand that things be done better”.

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Griner missed last season but He has returned to the courts in this one, in which he averages 21.7 points and 7.3 rebounds. In February 2022, she was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, when she was returning to Russia to play for Yekaterinburg. Russian authorities found cannabis vaporizers and oils in her luggage. In August she received a nine-year sentence, but in December she was released following an agreement between the US and Russian authorities.

The travel issue remains at the center of debates in the WNBA. The flights continue to be mostly commercial for the teams. The League does not have an agreement so that everyone can use private flights, and does not want those who are willing to bear the cost on their own to have great competitive advantages thanks to it. Last year it was only flown privately during the Finals. This, in a preview, has gone to all the playoffs and certain regular phase games, especially in situations of back to back with travel between the two consecutive match days. An exception was agreed with Griner for security reasons. Her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, believes that her conditions should be the same for her team and for the rest of the franchises: “Brittney, the WNBA players are leaders who inspire hope, who suggest a better, more inclusive and less divided America. . The positive changes that are promoted by their activism are celebrated, but they also suffer hate, threats and violence.. And incidents like this show that we can’t celebrate these women and their leadership without, at the same time, caring about their safety and protection.”

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