A troublemaker harassed Brittney Griner at a Dallas-area airport Saturday, resulting in an uncomfortable situation for Griner and her teammates.
While many players and basketball fans wondered why Griner did not have security in place, as the league had promised, the WNBA released a statement Saturday afternoon on the issue.
“As we gather additional information about today’s incident at the Dallas Airport, it has come to our attention that this was organized by a social media figure and provocateur,” the statement read (via ESPN’s Alexa Philippou). “His actions were inappropriate and unfortunate.
“The safety of Brittney Griner and all WNBA players is our top priority. Prior to the season, the WNBA worked together with the Phoenix Mercury and BG’s team to ensure her safety during her travel, which included charter flights for WNBA games and assigned security personnel with her at all times. We remain steadfastly committed to the highest standards of security for players.”
The WNBA has released a statement regarding an incident that happened today in which Brittney Griner was apparently harassed at an airport pic.twitter.com/aJ0ZCHPtkl
— Alexa Philippou (@alexaphilippou) June 10, 2023
The harassment involved a controversial social media figure following Griner in the airport, making remarks and misgendering her. Brianna Turner, one of Griner’s teammates, said the team huddled in a corner, unsure how to respond to the situation.
“Player safety while traveling should be at the forefront,” Turner said in a tweet. “People following with cameras saying wild remarks is never acceptable. Excessive harassment. Our team nervously huddled in a corner unsure how to move about. We demand better.”
Player safety while traveling should be at the forefront. People following with cameras saying wild remarks is never acceptable. Excessive harassment. Our team nervously huddled in a corner unsure how to move about. We demand better.
— Brianna Turner (@_Breezy_Briii) June 10, 2023
The WNBA Players Association also issued a statement on the issue, noting that the incident points out the need for players to travel by charter. “Every commercial flight forced upon our players is a threat to their health and safety,” the statement noted.
In the latest example of the WNBA needing to get its stuff together re: charter travel … apparently, there was an incident involving Phoenix Mercury players at an airport today and particularly, Brittney Griner smh
The WNBA Players’ Association has released this statement: pic.twitter.com/BI0Kni34bZ
— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) June 10, 2023
Many fans on Twitter reacted to the news with a critical question: “Where was the security?”
This is extremely disappointing. I asked Commissioner Cathy Engelbert about security for Brittney Griner at the 2023 Draft.
"We all want to protect all of our players. So we're looking at additional security for all of our players, not just Brittany, but Brittany definitely." https://t.co/jwoHEmOipG pic.twitter.com/pGlWRcFu3x
— Erica L. Ayala (Eye-Yah-La) 💪🏽 (@elindsay08) June 10, 2023
Brittney Griner’s agent with a statement on today’s incident in Dallas: https://t.co/xYpHIvzv8N
— Josh Weinfuss (@joshweinfuss) June 10, 2023
— Cory Davis (@HoopingWithCory) June 10, 2023