Just Like Everyone Else?

Griner-Johnson

Brittney Griner (above left) has unusual basketball and athletic skills, which separate her not only from mere mortal athletes, but also elevate her above her professional peers. When it comes to personal relationships, however, she’s just like the rest of us–facing challenges every day.

The 6’8″, 207-pound WNBA star and her 6’3″, 170-pound lover Glory Johnson (above right, also a WNBA player on a different team) have had quite a spring.

Griner on Friday applied for an annulment of their recent marriage. In late April they were arrested for domestic violence, then they purchased a house together, got married, announced a pregnancy, and filed for divorced…all within 6 weeks! That’s a lifetime’s worth of big events, unless you’re a Kardashian.

Arrest? Marriage? Pregnancy? Annulment? God only knows what words we’ll read next in association with these two 25-year-old kids? Sex change? Hobbling? Cannibalism? Reality Show?

And if we can’t have a full run of Keeping Up with Griner & Glory, maybe we can at least get them together on a special episode of Family Feud.

The tribulations and challenges of this couple (and of Caitlyn Jenner) should prove that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities deserve the same rights and considerations as the rest of society. We all bleed and hurt equally.

Another fascinating aspect to this drama will be the reception these players receive in WNBA arenas around the country. The 2015 season is 11 games in. Glory Johnson will miss the whole schedule in order to tend to her pregnancy.

Brittney Griner has yet to play a game this season for the Phoenix Mercury. She’s serving a seven-game league suspension as a result of the domestic violence charges against her. When she does return, will she be subjected to trash-talking from opposing fans, brandishing creative signs and shouting insults?

You know that would happen at stadiums featuring male athletes in similar circumstances. On one level, that fan behavior, which is such a typical occurrence in the NFL or NCAA basketball, would signal true acceptance of the WNBA and its players into the normal landscape of other more mainstream sports.

If the trash-talk doesn’t arise in response to the Griner-Johnson story, the generally more supportive crowds at WNBA games could end up teaching everyone about tolerance and acceptance.

Griner’s first game of 2015 could be Saturday, June 27th, against the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

What do YOU think will happen when Brittney Griner returns to action on the court? Do she and Glory Johnson have a chance to make it as a couple? And (see pictures at the top of the page) why are so many WNBA teams sponsored by casinos?

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio host who asks WAY too many questions.

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