Brittney Griner Aug 8, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States centre Brittney Griner (15) reacts to a call against Japan in the women’s basketball gold medal match during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month, WNBA star Brittney Griner was named the “Arizonan of the Year” by the Arizona Republic after she dominated the headlines following a drug conviction and a shocking nine-year prison sentence in a high-security Russian penal colony where she faced quite brutal and unfair conditions before she was finally released as part of a controversial prisoner swap.

Not everyone has been happy about the attention Griner has received, especially after she was traded for a very dangerous Russian arms dealer and the United States failed to bring home former Marine Paul Whelan, who was also imprisoned in Russia. And some recent revelations are likely to make the criticism of Griner even stronger.

As American Military News points out, the “Arizonan of the Year” award given to Brittney Griner is the same award that was given to former Arizona Cardinals player Pat Tillman back in 2004 after he put his NFL dreams on hold to join the Army and was tragically killed in the line of duty.

Tillman passed up a $3.4 million contract offer from the Cardinals to enlist in the U.S. Army and was fatally wounded on April 22, 2004 at the young age of 27.

Since the tragic incident, Tillman has been hailed as a hero throughout the NFL world and was recently honored by Arizona Cardinals star JJ Watt during the last game of his career.

[American Military News]