Brittney Griner Takes Time for Mental Health, Sits Out 2 WNBA Games

Mon Jul,2023
Brittney Griner Takes Time for Mental Health, Sits Out 2 WNBA Games Basketball

WNBA star Brittney Griner has chosen to prioritize her well-being and will sit out two upcoming games with the Phoenix Mercury. The decision comes after a tumultuous year for the All-Star Center, marked by her 10-month detention in Russia on drug charges, which ended with her release in a prisoner exchange last December.

Phoenix Mercury's General Manager, Jim Pitman has expressed full support for Griner's decision recognizing the challenging ordeal she has faced, and emphasized the team's commitment to providing her with the necessary resources during this period. 

Griner's journey to recovery is emblematic of the broader trend within the sports community, where players are increasingly open about their struggles, and teams are embracing a more supportive approach toward mental health.

The absence of Brittney Griner will undoubtedly be felt by the Mercury. As a two-time Olympic gold medalist and six-time WNBA All-Star, her contribution to the team is immense. Nevertheless, the organization's unwavering support for her mental well-being reflects the positive strides made in addressing mental health issues in the sports realm.

The exact date of Griner's return to the team remains uncertain, but there is a shared optimism among the Mercury that she will come back stronger than ever. As she continues her journey toward recovery, the team's support will remain steadfast.

Brittney Griner's remarkable career took a challenging turn in February 2022 when she was arrested in Russia on drug-related charges, specifically for possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil. Her detention persisted for 10 months, culminating in a trial that began in July 2022, before ultimately securing her release in December through a prisoner swap.

Griner's resilience and courage earned widespread recognition in the United States, shining a spotlight on the predicament of American citizens detained in foreign countries. Her story resonated with many, drawing attention to the importance of mental health support for athletes navigating such complex and demanding circumstances.

Brittney Griner's decision to prioritize her well-being serves as a testament to the progress being made in addressing mental health challenges within the sports community. For athletes like Griner, access to mental health resources and unwavering support from their teams are vital components in fostering a culture of well-being and success.