As it turns out, convicted Russian felon Brittney Griner, who was recently traded for renowned arms dealer Viktor Bout and returned to the United States, did not have the squeaky-clean image we were led to believe during her “wrongful” detainment stemming from illicit marijuana possession.
Resurfacing reports from 2015 detail an arrest by Phoenix-area police as a result of a domestic assault situation that left Griner’s hand injured from teeth marks and Griner’s then-fiancee bloodied in the face.
The altercation occurred in Griner’s home that she shared with her then-fiancee, now ex-wife, Glory Johnson. Johnson was also a WNBA athlete.
According to police, several people were in their suburban Phoenix home when the two players began fighting. Guests’ attempts to subdue and separate the escalated pair were unsuccessful, and eventually police were called to help break it up. At the time of the call, both women were throwing objects at each other in the living room.
USA Today covered the incident at the time, writing:
Griner told police that she and Johnson had been arguing every day and got into each other’s faces Wednesday afternoon in the home they had bought two days earlier after Johnson said Griner “disrespected” her, according to a police report.
Johnson told police Griner had gotten too close, so she pushed her back to get some separation and began talking to her sister when she was pushed in the back of the head by Griner. Johnson turned around and the physical altercation began, with both fighting on the floor for 4 to 6 minutes. The entire episode lasted about 20 minutes, according to the report.
Griner’s attorney, David Michael Cantor, issued a public statement following the altercation and arrest of his client, stating that Griner and Johnson were navigating ups and downs in their relationship and dealing with a lot of stress.
“The last few months have been an extremely stressful time for Brittney and Glory,” the statement began. “They will continue to work through these hardships together and ask that the media respect their privacy as they handle this family matter. Glory and Brittney sincerely apologize for the distraction this has caused their families, respective teams, the WNBA, sponsors and fans.”
The WNBA also reacted to the news, suspending Griner for seven games. In a statement of its own, it mentioned that Griner’s conduct was “detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA” while also violating “applicable law.”
“With consideration of all the facts and circumstances of this matter, we are suspending Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson each without pay for a period of seven regular-season games.
“Brittney and Glory’s conduct is detrimental to the best interests of the WNBA and violates applicable law. We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline.”
Sportskeeda noted that the dueling pair, engaged at the time of the fight, proceeded to get married the following month. A month after that, the pair split for good when Griner filed for annulment.
Despite the altercation, Glory Johnson and Brittney Griner married on May 8th, 2015. Less than a month later, Griner filed for annulment of the marriage, and their divorce was finalized in June 2016.
On May 15, 2015, the WNBA suspended Griner and Johnson for seven games without pay over their row.
Featured image: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
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