The Lack of Support for Brittney Griner Shows How Society Continues to Fail Black Women & Queer People

Chris L. Butler
4 min readMar 24, 2022

The first time I heard of Brittney Griner, we were both sophomores at our respective religious universities. I was living in Cincinnati at the time, studying sport management with big hopes of working in sports and entertainment. Griner was in Waco, Texas, a place much smaller and much more conservative-with a lot less Black folk. Given the fact that I was working in intercollegiate athletics, but also eating, sleeping, and breathing it, I certainly had heard of a 6'9" rising star named Brittney Griner at Baylor University.

I remember Griner dominating anyone who came her way. She was unstoppable. NCAA analysts compared her dominance to the likes of Shaquille O’Neal at LSU, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at UCLA, and Wilt Chamberlain at Kansas. No, this was Brittney Griner, a bastion of talent that was building a name for herself.

If it weren’t for Brittney Griner, as well as the coach at the time, Kim Mulkey, I’m not sure the Baylor women’s basketball program would have the success it has had this century. She put them on the map.

After four years at Baylor and one NCAA national championship, Brittney Griner was drafted with the 1st pick overall in the 2013 WNBA Draft. She has continued her success on the professional stage, as a WNBA champion, 7 time All Star, and 2 time scoring champ. Griner has done this all while leading the league seven out of the last nine years. Her streak was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not another athlete.

Brittney Griner is unstoppable. She’s arguably the best player in the WNBA, if not second best (think LeBron James versus Kevin Durant arguments). Griner is not just any star, she’s a star on the Phoenix Mercury, a team loaded with stars like Skyler Diggins, Diana Turasi, and Tina Charles.

Despite all her success, Griner is currently being held by Russian authorities for drug charges. Last month, she was arrested because her vaporiser allegedly had hashish oil in it. But many are speculating concerns that Griner (a U.S. citizen) is being used as leverage due to the West’s sanctions on Ukraine after Russia’s invasion.

It’s important to note that one of the only reasons why Griner and other women…

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Chris L. Butler

Black American & Dutch writer living in Canada. Author of 2 chapbooks: ‘Sacrilegious’ and ‘BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID’. 🇺🇸🇳🇱🇨🇦