Brittney Griner Apr 27, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner speaks to the media during a press conference at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner is set to make her regular-season return to the WNBA on Friday night against the Los Angeles Sparks. Her agent revealed that her return will feature a change to her pre-game routine regarding the national anthem before tip-off.

Griner famously missed the 2022-23 WNBA season due to her nine-month imprisonment in Russia. Before that, she was strongly opposed to the national anthem before games. She kneeled for the anthem in her last WNBA appearance and even went as far as to say that it should not be played at WNBA games back in 2020.

However, her return to the United States after a trade for Russian arms merchant Viktor Bout seems to have changed her stance on the matter.

Griner’s agent revealed to Daily Mail that she now plans to stand for the national anthem for the Mercury’s home opener.

This isn’t overly shocking considering Griner recently stood for the anthem in her opening preseason game. After that game she spoke about how she has a newfound admiration for the meaning behind the pre-game ritual.

“Hearing the national anthem, it definitely hit different,” said Griner. “It’s like when you go for the Olympics, you’re sitting there, about to get gold put on your neck, the flags are going up and the anthem is playing, it just hits different. Being here today, it means a lot.”

[Daily Mail]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.