Mike Chiari@@mikechiariTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2023

Photos by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

The WNBA released a statement Saturday chastising a social media personality for their involvement in an incident regarding Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

In the statement, the WNBA said a “social media figure and provocateur” was responsible for orchestrating an “inappropriate and unfortunate” incident involving Griner:

Alexa Philippou @alexaphilippou

The WNBA has released a statement regarding an incident that happened today in which Brittney Griner was apparently harassed at an airport pic.twitter.com/aJ0ZCHPtkl

The WNBA provided no further details other than to say the league is “steadfastly committed” to the safety of its players.

Kareem Copeland @kareemcopeland

Executive director of the @TheWNBPA Terri Jackson said players contacted her from the airport saying the man approached while they were looking for food. Started asking questions in a threatening way, about Griner and if she was the one traded for Viktor Bout. #wnba

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, also released a statement on the matter:

Lindsay Kagawa Colas (she/her) @kagawacolas

and today’s incident is a clear reminder of that.

We cannot celebrate these women and their leadership without also protecting them.

It’s past time for charters and enhanced security measures for all players. #WeAreBG


Griner, 32, was detained at a Russian airport in February 2022 due to being in possession of vape cartridges that contained hashish oil.

The United States government later announced that Griner was being wrongfully held, but she was put on trial in Russia and sentenced to nine years in prison on drug smuggling charges.

Three weeks after getting transferred to a Russian penal colony, Griner was returned to the United States in a prisoner swap for arms dealer Viktor Bout in December.

In all, Griner spent nearly 10 months in Russian custody before getting released back to the U.S.

After missing the entire 2022 WNBA season while in Russia, Griner returned to the league this season, re-signing with the Mercury.

The eight-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year and one-time WNBA champion is averaging 21.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 blocks and 1.5 blocks in six games so far this season.

Griner, who is from Houston, was in Dallas for road games against the Dallas Wings on Wednesday and Friday.

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