Brittney Griner Changes…But the Trolls Continue to Dumb

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For the last three years, the sports, music and entertainment worlds collided with the world of patriotism. Whether it is blind patriotism, true patriotism or dumb patriotism, the country as a whole was in the middle of a powder keg. For most of us, the battle lines were clearly drawn, and it was proven that it does take a huge moment in our lives to change our thought perspective somewhat.

For Brittney Griner, that moment came when she was sentenced to a year in prison in Russia.

Brittney Griner garnered media attention prior to this situation when she made a choice that most athletes in this country were making prior to the incident in Russia. Most remember Griner for this stance during The Summer of Social Injustice:

Back in July 2020, Brittney Griner told The Republic’s Jeff Metcalfe in an interview, “I’m going to protest regardless. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.” (Cluff, 2023)

Now most if not all of us had something to say on that summer and the incidents, accidents, pitfalls and tragedies that occurred before, during and after. I myself had a stance on that summer as proven by multiple podcasts and columns during that timeframe. We heard one media clown come out and say to the likes of Brittney Griner, LeBron, KD and others: ‘Shut Up and Dribble.’

We had another clown who attempted to president call for the termination of athletes who knelt for the anthem as well: ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field, now. He’s fired. HE’S FIRED!’ And of course, we had dingbats burning season tickets, apparel, memorabilia and the like of their favorite franchises….that they paid for nonetheless.

But the one thing we had that just rubbed some of these trolls the wrong way is a woman…with a voice…speaking against their BS…and having balls (metaphorically) bigger than theirs…standing up for what she believed in. 

That summer, Brittney Griner was one of those women who did that. Megan Rapinoe was another. Venus and Serena Williams. The list goes on and on. However, a lot has changed since that summer. The goal post was moved several times since then to justify certain things, certain actions and certain individuals. But while the story changed, the narrative did not.

Griner’s story changed in February of 2022 when she was detained in Moscow for having hashish oil in her luggage. And while there were those demanding justice for Griner, it did not take long for the vultures to circle, point and laugh at the predicament that she found herself in.

After spending nearly 10 months in a Russian prison, Brittney Griner was part of a prisoner exchange back in December of 2022 that saw the WNBA star finally come home. During the timeframe, media pundits were quick to throw as many shots in Griner’s direction all the while moving the goal post further and further away. 

But on an evening in which the WNBA star and legend made her first appearance in a game since the Russia fiasco, this is how she showed her appreciation to the Americans not giving up the fight for the return of ALL of Russia’s American prisoners:

Brittney Griner

This is what fans saw, but it is not the whole story. In Brittney Griner’s own words, “Hearing the national anthem, it definitely hit different. It’s like when you go to 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.” (Linder, 2023)

Now those were Brittney Griner’s words. The hometown crowd even showed their appreciation for her appreciation. One would think, that would be the end of it right? 

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 (Holleran, 2023)

Now this is where I get to retort so these jagoffs can learn to know their damn role and shut their damn mouths. I have heard that national anthem all my life. I have heard the pledge of allegiance all my life. I have seen those colors all my life. And for almost six years, I have NOT stood for the anthem. 

And despite all that, I am still more American than the trolls above. 

Instead of embracing that Griner is learning her lesson (Griner announced in April that she is working with Bring Our Families Home, a campaign formed last year by the family members of American hostages and wrongful detainees held overseas. (Brandt & AP, 2023)), they chose to go low. Therefore, I’ll go low but aim higher.

Everyone talks about freedom, yet, there are those that are okay with slavery, whitewashing history, taking away basic human rights as well as basic women’s rights and of course, making it hard for people to get their voices out.

They may not admit it, but they are indeed thinking like Joe (aka Roman Reigns): ‘Take the Oath. Fall in Line. Acknowledge Me.’ 

For Griner to admit that she is learning her lesson and working on her penance, trolls like these jabronis need to just shut up. These were the same clowns that were crying, whining and complaining about TikTok and drag queens if that helps. They are the same ones who complained about CRT, but don’t have the mental capability to even look it up to see what they are truly mad about (Do not worry. I put the definition at the bottom for you SovShits**). 

The harsh reality is this: you cannot question one’s patriotism when you are doing the one thing that makes one a patriot. People have claimed that in order to be an American, you must stand for the anthem. The reality is you do not have to stand to be an American. If one is born here, raised here, works hard here, prospers here, even helps their fellow person, THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOU AMERICAN!

For Griner to be trying to be an instrument of change is a sign of a real American. Those trolls who dished out those comments…I wonder what they have done recently, lately or ever to show they are real Americans? 

My stance on the whole thing is this. You do not need to stand for a song to be American. You do not need a red, white and blue bumper sticker to show you are an American. Be happy that you are an American. Be humble that you are an American. Shake the hand of a servicemen, or buy their groceries or next meals, or even offer to cut their lawns.

These are things that make you an American. No extracurricular exercise required. All you truly need to be an American is to remind yourself that you are in a country that everyone wants to either visit or move to because we have freedoms that places like Russia and China fail to put in their category.

So I applaud what Griner is doing to make amends in her personal and professional life. I applaud, admire and respect the humility that she is showing the world as well as behind closed doors. I even respect her stance on the anthem. But while I respect, applaud and admire all that, that does not mean I will follow suit anytime soon.

Last I checked, this is still America, I still have the right to choose and above all else, I utilize my freedoms daily. Case in point: I’m going to a bar in a few hours to have a beer with some old legends I shoot the breeze with on a nightly and daily basis at work. Some are veterans of multiple wars, some are legends of the shield and others are veterans in the making. 

Shockingly enough, we salute the flag, raise a glass for the country and go back to talking smack to each other….none of us stand up while the anthem is playing.

Oh, before I depart, here is that definition for that dirty little word Critical Race Theory or CRT: “Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a cross-disciplinary examination – by social and civil rights scholars and activists – of how laws, social and political movements, and media shape, and are shaped by, social  conceptions of race and ethnicity. CRT is also used in sociology to explain social, political, and legal structures and power distribution as through a ‘lens’ focusing on the concept of race, and experiences of racism.” (Wikipedia)

But hey, what do I know? Sometimes I just shut up and write…

They are the athletes I write about:

Bibliography

Brandt, D., & AP. (2023, May 12). Brittney Griner plays in first WNBA preseason game since detainment in Russia. Retrieved from Action News 5: https://www.actionnews5.com/2023/05/13/brittney-griner-plays-first-wnba-preseason-game-since-detainment-russia/

Cluff, J. (2023, May 15). Brittney Griner’s national anthem stance appears to change after return to Phoenix Mercury. Retrieved from AZ Central : https://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/wnba/mercury/2023/05/15/brittney-griner-national-anthem-stance-wnba-phoenix-mercury-games/70219434007/

Holleran, A. (2023, May 14). Sports World Reacts to What Brittney Griner Said About National Anthem. Retrieved from The Spun: https://thespun.com/more/top-stories/sports-world-reacts-to-what-brittney-griner-said-about-national-anthem

Linder, B. (2023, May 15). Brittney Griner gives her thoughts on hearing national anthem after first game back in WNBA. Retrieved from Penn Live: https://www.pennlive.com/sports/2023/05/brittney-griner-gives-her-thoughts-on-hearing-the-national-anthem-before-first-game-back-in-wnba.html?utm_campaign=pennlive_sf&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR0LqOohrDczMpbMtFbcaPdggh6IgnPVkJBDt2AiS

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Critical Race Theory. Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory

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