Where is support for Brittney Griner?!

Historically speaking, our current juncture in time remains extremely critical. Time is precious – as it continues to turn & oil continues to burn the day-by-day ruler can’t be too wrong. It takes precision, uncanny ability and downright tenacity to do what Brittney Griner does on the court. Her towering presence, fluidity and speed strikes fear within the hearts of opponents.

Meanwhile, she is being held in Russia. Let’s backtrack and discover how she ended up in this predicament?

Her illustrious career at Baylor remains in the upper echelon of women’s college basketball. They went 135-15 (.900) during her tenure there and won the national championship in 2012 finishing 40-0. She was the first player in men’s or womens to record over 2,000 points and 500 blocks. She also helped Team USA win two gold medals in Tokyo and Rio. She was the first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike back in 2013.

USA’s Brittney Griner (R) and Sue Bird (L) celebrate during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama on 08/06/2 (ARIS MESSINIS)

As a solid finisher with nifty footwork and downright force around the rim, this woman continues to prove her dominance beyond a reasonable measure. 

Many women choose to play basketball overseas during the offseason in order to generate additional income. Overseas, women play 82 games while the WNBA only plays 36. It’s not just about their current lives as athletes but it’s about the ability to compete for generational wealth.

“Players in the NBA get about 50% of the revenue. For women, the percentage is in the twenties. So before we even talk about base salary or anything like that, we don’t even get paid the same percentage of the revenue that we bring in, which is kind of unbelievable. People try to hijack this issue and say that women’s basketball may not be as interesting a game, because they disparage women in sports, period. But we don’t even make the same percentage of revenue! And jersey sales…we don’t get any of it. The men do. And I have had a top-five jersey for three or four years in the WNBA.”

Maya Moore

For the longest time, the maximum salary for a WNBA player in America did not exceed $230,000. In Russia a woman can generate a max salary up to $325,000 and in China maximum $600,000. Just recently, the U.S.A. raised their base salary to $215,000 thus enlarging the max salary a woman can obtain by playing professional basketball.

In 2021, the league launched their first Commissioner’s Cup in Phoenix, AZ. This initiative geared toward innovation represents WNBA improvement in regards to disbursement and distribution of funds. Women can earn additional compensation if they win the Commissioner’s Cup trophy. 

The continual allotment of funds through added incentives and competition is all wonderful. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do much for Brittney Griner who plays for the Phoenix Mercury and UMMC Ekateringburg (Russia) 

Each of the last seven winters she has made $1M playing in Russia. In February 2022, she was arrested at the Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow for transporting cannabis vape cartridges. 

This crime could carry a ten year sentence in Russia and marks yet another detainment of an individual with dark skin. Even though the NBA just legalized cannabis and it has been proven to provide relief for athletes the rules are the rules. Unless, of course you are Rapinoe who gets to promote the benefits of CBD while Richardson misses out on competition due to cannabis usage. Better yet, what will happen to Griner???

Brittney Griner was definitely targeted because she’s a lesbian. Russia taking a vape cartridge and trying to fabricate some story of it being part of a larger drug smuggling effort to put her away for ten years is completely transparent. They hate gay people and they’re pissed off about US sanctions and they’re using her as a chess piece and its terrible. 

If it was a male NBA star that was a political prisoner right now, there would be an uproar about bringing him home.

Tumblr User

As far as we are aware, her house arrest was request was denied and her detainment has been extended until May 19. Her English-speaking cellmates (2) have helped her navigate throughout the facility and to the library. The owner of her basketball team Iskander Makhmudov was recently named within the Putin Accountability Act making its rounds through Congress. With that being said, this entire debacle could be drawn out as political folly. 

While the majority of the world focuses on transgender athletes within sports they neglect the stories that deal with maltreatment of black people.

Random Sidebar: “Female Hyperandrogenism” policy. International Olympic Committee officials can order testosterone testing for women whose gender is for some reason deemed debatable.

So individuals who transition from one gender to another receive approval to compete but women who might be deemed too masculine are subject to testing? So on and so forth, I guess we are all contradictory humans by nature.

It is such a shame that after having to conceal her true identity for fear of recruiting repercussions, Griner will once again face harsh treatment. Make no bones about it, she should not be traveling internationally with cannabis oil. But, given the ratcheting tension between world powers it appears that inhumane treatment toward a black superstar will suffice for the moment.

“Gender is who you go to bed as, sexuality is who you go to bed with.” 

Brittney Griner was embraced as a lesbian woman in the WNBA. Previously, she did not openly express her sexuality due to the fact that Coach Mulkey had her keep it on the hush hush. Many times, litigiousness is what leads less ladies to come out of the closet. When it comes to her balance between masculine and feminine, BG leans toward genderqueer. Regardless, Griner is an incredible basketball player and it is amazing because she did not bounce a basketball until 9th grade. 

It is one thing if an individual is incarcerated within the confines of their home country. It is an entirely ‘nother thing if they are being detained overseas. With beds made for much smaller women and the age-old black-person-In-jail-for-weed story Griner must remain patient and professional. This scenario will require poise throughout Russia’s opaque justice system and non-existent diplomatic relations with the U.S. currently. 

Griner might consider obtaining a Privacy Act Waiver which allows the state department in Washington and U.S. Embassy diplomats to discuss specific information with consulates abroad. It would also serve interesting to see how the newly formed WNBPA Player Advisory Panel might be able to address this ‘travel concern.’

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