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Brittney Griner returns to WNBA forever changed — yet blissfully familiar – UnlistedNews

Brittney Griner Returns to WNBA Forever Changed — Yet Blissfully Familiar

Brittney Griner, the 6-foot-9 center for the Phoenix Mercury, has returned to the WNBA after being away for three years. Her return is not only welcome news to her fans and teammates but also to her as she considers the league as home.

Griner left the country in 2018 to play in Russia with the UMMC Ekaterinburg team after being arrested for domestic violence. She returned to the United States after serving a seven-game suspension and undergoing counseling.

Griner’s experience in Russia was not an easy one. In an interview with ESPN, she shared that she was imprisoned for three days after an altercation with her then-wife, Glory Johnson, in 2015. The experience shook her to the core and made her question her identity as a person and as an athlete.

“People were calling me a man and saying, ‘You’re not a woman. You didn’t have hair. You didn’t have breasts.’ When that happens, you start to question yourself,” Griner said. “I had to remember what I fought for, what I stand for, and what my family and friends know to be true.”

Griner’s personal turmoil was compounded by her team’s high expectations. UMMC Ekaterinburg is a Russian powerhouse that expects nothing less than a championship. Griner’s team focused on winning and not on her well-being, which made her feel isolated and unsupported.

“When I was in Russia, that’s all they cared about — winning. They didn’t care about me as a person or an athlete,” Griner said. “You know, take care of me first. Then we can win.”

Griner has come back to the WNBA with a new perspective on life and basketball. She is more aware of her needs as a person and athlete and has learned to prioritize her well-being both on and off the court.

“I needed a break from basketball, from people, from everything,” Griner said. “And now I’m back, but I’m not the same person. I’m a better person, more understanding, more patient, more caring, more loving.”

Griner’s return is a welcome addition to a league that has seen an influx of talented players in recent years. She is one of the most dominant centers in the league and has the ability to change the outcome of any game she plays in.

As she embarks on this new chapter of her career, Griner hopes to use her experience to inspire others and raise awareness about domestic violence and its impact on athletes.

“I want to be a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves,” Griner said. “It’s not just about me and basketball anymore. It’s about using my platform to make a difference in the world.”

In conclusion, Brittney Griner’s return to the WNBA has been a long-awaited one, and her personal journey has imbued her with a new sense of purpose and perspective. Her experiences in Russia have changed her forever, but they have also made her more resilient, compassionate, and determined to be a force for change. As she takes to the court once again, her fans and teammates will be cheering her on, knowing that she is not just a great athlete but also a remarkable human being.


Sara Marcus
Sara Marcus
Meet Sara Marcus, our newest addition to the Unlisted News team! Sara is a talented author and cultural critic, whose work has appeared in a variety of publications. Sara's writing style is characterized by its incisiveness and thought-provoking nature, and her insightful commentary on music, politics, and social justice is sure to captivate our readers. We are thrilled to have her join our team and look forward to sharing her work with our readers.


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