Brittney Griner Chooses Mental Health Over Next Two Games

Brittney Griner


Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, won’t be traveling with the team “to focus on her mental health,” the team declared on Saturday. The Mercury says that the star player in the WNBA will miss at least two games this week when her team plays in Chicago and Indiana, and that “a timeline for her return” is still being planned out.

Mercury center Brittney Griner will miss the team’s upcoming games in Chicago and Indiana (July 30-August 1) because she needs to focus on her mental health. The Mercury stated on social media on Saturday afternoon, “The Mercury fully supports Brittney, and we will continue to work with her on a timeline for her return.”

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Griner played in the WNBA and the Olympics before, and she recently got out of Russian prison and has returned back to the league. The athlete spent nearly 10 months in a Russian prison on drug allegations before being swapped for an American weapons dealer in a high-profile prisoner swap in December of last year. 

Griner re-signed with her former team, the Phoenix Mercury, where she had played for years before her imprisonment. In May, when the Mercury played against the Los Angeles Sparks, she made her first genuine appearance of the season. Griner’s first All-Star appearance after returning was almost a month later.

“It meant everything to me,” Griner told the audience following the All-Star game, as per the reports. “I honestly did not believe I would be here today, but everyone has been sending letters, sending support, and posting. I still notice everything that everyone did to this day. It meant a lot to me; it gave me hope, and it made me not want to give it up for any reason, so this league helped me.”