Brittney Griner spoke to the media on Thursday ahead of the 2023 WNBA season and immediately weighed in on the major political debate in the country.
Griner, who recently returned to the United States after nearly 10 months in captivity in Russia, was asked about legislation aimed at preventing transgender participation in sports.
“That ranks high on the list of things I’ll be fighting for and speaking up against,” Griner said when asked by an ESPN reporter about advocating for transgender athletes. “Everyone deserves the right to play. Everyone deserves the right to come here, sit in these seats, and feel safe. And not feel like there’s the threat, or they can’t be who they are, or like it’s just all eyes on them.
BRITTNEY GRINER RULES OUT PLAYING OVERSEAS IN THE FUTURE, UNLESS SHE’S REPRESENTING THE US IN OLYMPICS
“I think it’s a crime honestly to separate someone for any reason. So, I definitely will be speaking up against that legislation and those laws that are trying to be passed, for sure.”
On Wednesday, the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s executive voted that high schools and middle schools must see the first birth certificates of transgender athletes in order to decide which teams they can play on.
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The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed in the House last week, which aims at preventing biological males from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.
“Today is a great day for America, for fairness, for families, and most importantly for female athletes,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said. “House Republicans pledged before the last election our commitment to America to women and girls in sports. Today we kept that promise.”
President Biden has said he would veto the bill if it were to arrive on his desk.
Griner is preparing for her 10th WNBA season after re-signing with the Phoenix Mercury in February.
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She missed all of last season after being arrested in February 2022 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after authorities allegedly discovered she had vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.
“I always believe in my ability,” Griner said Thursday, according to ESPN. “Being realistic, am I exactly where I want to be? No. But I’m on the right track.
“The first two weeks, first month [of basketball training] … it was hard. At first, there was a point where it was like, ‘Wow, do I really want to do this this fast right now?’ But it was so worth it.”
Fox News’ Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report.