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Brittney Griner National Anthem Comments Resurface Online


Russia-imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner said in 2020 that the national anthem should not be played before WNBA games and vowed to protest if it was played.

Griner was sentenced this month to nine years in a Russian prison for possession of cannabis oil. Her comments about the anthem resurfaced online after sentencing.

“I honestly feel we should not play the National Anthem during our season,” Griner told AZ Central in 2020. “I think we should take that much of a stand.”


“I don’t mean that in any disrespect to our country,” she said. “My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years. I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country.”

“I’m going to protest regardless,” Griner added. “I’m not going to be out there for the National Anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long, I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.”

In a viral tweet, political commentator Tomi Lahren mocked Griner, “On the bright side, B Griner won’t have to endure our National Anthem for 9 whole years! What a win for her!”

“On the bright side, she has not had to hear the National Anthem for 170 days,” Sebastian Gorka said.

Fellow Phoenix Mercury player Brianna Turner on August 4, the day Griner was sentenced, defended her teammate.

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Turner, too, is against the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at WNBA games.

“I would love to individually respond and annihilate every negative viewpoint I receive but that would be a waste of my time,” Turner posted online. “At the end of the day many people lack compassion & critical thinking skills and it’s not my responsibility to teach that. Respectfully, get a life trolls.”

“I don’t have the capacity to respond to every hateful message about Brittney Griner,” she continued. “I think it’s easy to be an outsider and wish the worst. It’s easy to not know all the facts. It’s easy to spread hate on social media. I know many Americans lack compassion due to all the chaos … that happens regularly in our country.”

“BG [Brittney Griner] is my friend and teammate and one of the kindest people I know. Even before being detained in Russia she would receive hate from trolls [because] they didn’t like her looks or what she supported,” the athlete wrote. “Yet she continuously held her head high.”

Last month, Turner was more specific about Griner’s Left-wing activism, which she strongly defended.

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“So sick of this false narrative that BG hated the US,” she wrote via social media. “Yes there’s an article where we state the anthem should not be played, but she goes on to also say how she has pride for her country. I think it’s patriotic to hold one’s country accountable for atrocious actions.”

“BG has pride for her country,” Turner added. “The anthem has a time a place to be played. I’m hopeful BG and all other Americans wrongfully detained overseas can make it home asap!!”

Before Griner was sentenced, the 6-foot, 9-inch WNBA star told the court she never meant to break any laws and made an “honest mistake.”

“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” she said. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is far from this courtroom.”

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Story cited here.

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