WNBA star Brittney Griner expressed her dissatisfaction on Monday, stating that the league had previously failed to offer her preferential treatment by allowing her to fly privately after she faced harassment at an airport earlier this month.
Griner encountered conservative social media personality Alex Stein at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on June 10. During the incident, Stein asked the Phoenix Mercury Center several provocative questions, including, “Do you wanna boycott America, Brittney?” The encounter was captured in a viral video.
As others intervened, Stein shouted, “She hates America! What about the merchant of death, Britt?” The reference to the “merchant of death” was in relation to the prisoner swap in December, where Griner was freed from a Russian prison in exchange for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Griner had previously expressed her belief that the national anthem should not be played at sporting events. ESPN reported on Monday that Griner addressed the media regarding a new WNBA policy that allows players to choose their own flights.
“I think we should have already had the option to use a different airline, a more private airline, charter flights,” Griner stated. “It’s unfortunate that it had to reach rock bottom because when you wait for something to happen before making a change, you don’t know what that something will be.
We’ve all witnessed the things that can happen in this world. By playing the ‘let’s wait and see’ game, you’re risking people’s lives.” “It’s just a shame that it took so long, honestly,” she commented on no longer having to fly commercially.
ESPN shared Griner’s complaints on Twitter, but the response was largely unsympathetic. The Mercury, including Griner, had a challenging start to the season with a record of 2-10, leading to the firing of head coach Vanessa Nygaard on Sunday. Interim coach Nikki Blue has taken over, as reported by ESPN.