Brittney Griner National Anthem Fallout:

Reasonable or Overreaction?

An Uncle Rico Production

Brittney griner

Since last Friday, the WNBA has received an abnormal amount of coverage by the press & social media. Bleacher Brothers Network has been no different. The extra media attention has been specific to one player; Brittney Griner.

Multiple journalists on the BBN staff have thrown in their two cents (in the case of Bear Acuda, more like a nickel or dimes worth) on the controversy still surrounding Griner. I will add my name to that list. 

I will try to let the facts speak for themselves, and limit my opinion, so that you the reader can have unbiased information at your fingertips, to best aid you in your opinion development.

For those of you unfamiliar with the situation, Brittney Griner was the embattled WNBA star who got caught with weed at a Russian airport. She was traveling from New York to Moscow to play for the Russian women’s club basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg when a drug-sniffing canine caught her with hash oil in her hand bag.

Russian authorities decided to detain Brittney Griner for months until announcing she could serve up to 9.5 years for possession of the narcotic substance (Russian laws on THC are very different then here in the states). The Usuals took to social media to cry what an injustice it was, citing her being a queer black woman, as if that made a difference.

Sadly enough, when it came to the prisoner exchange between Brittney Griner & Russia’s #1 gun-runner Viktor Bout (who was famously played by Nicolas Cage in the 2005 film Lord of War), she was chosen over Marine vet Paul Whelan for that specific reason; her cultural identity.

*Here is where opinion intersects with fact. Many took issue with Brittney Griner being swapped-out with Bout because they felt Whelan was overlooked because he didn’t fit the right appearance.

Some said she was chosen because she was a famous person. Others said it was her ethnicity & who she sleeps with. And even fewer said that her skin color nor sexual orientation nor fame factored at all. You can decide for yourself.

Let’s put it another way:

Russia was entering a war with Ukraine & America (by proxy with NATO). Bout was Russia’s #1 arms-runner asset responsible for millions of deaths. He was rotting in an American prison for a decade up until the Brittney Griner incident. 

Paul Whelan was an ex-marine arrested by Russian Intelligence on the charge of ESPIONAGE. His military background included Operation Iraqi Freedom and IT security expertise. In January 2008, he was court-martialed, convicted of LARCENY, and discharged under the US Military “Bad Conduct Policy”. He is also a straight, white, male. 

Griner was a WNBA player. Leaving woke points out of this analysis, that’s really it. She was a female basketball player with no background as a military asset. 

If you add the woke points, Brittney Griner hit 3 of the BIG 4 (queer, black, “non-cisgender male”, & immigrant) criteria for being an exceptional person. The Biden Administration will go down as the most diverse in history. Some say they have put DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion) over merit. Others say these shattered glass-ceilings have been long overdue.

Of the two Americans, who was a greater asset?

Think of it in trade terms.

If Bout is Jokic, who would Griner & Whelan be? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

The major reason Griner was embroiled in controversy for her selection in the prisoner swap, and her newfound appreciation for the national anthem was because she went on record trashing the national anthem & the United States. She was one of many famous people quick to lend their support to BLM & LGBTQIAR2S+ & denounce the United States in the form of protest.

For most in these circles, it meant changing their social media information to signal support to certain causes. For sports entertainers like Brittney Griner, they followed the lead of Colin Kapernick & began kneeling or sitting during the national anthem.

So, when Brittney Griner was selected to come home over ex-military (albeit discharged ex-military, which many of his supporters seem to ignore), there was an outrage by the usual “patriots” & others on the opposite side of the social justice warrior line.

Now, it would be easy for me to call Brittney Griner an idiot for sneaking weed onto a plane. No doubt, it was a stupid decision. But I would be a hypocrite in doing so. I have snuck drugs on flights multiple times. It’s called being an addict. I was fully aware of the consequences, and still I did it. It was foolish & immature, but it’s a part of my story. Shying away from mistakes doesn’t allow us to learn from them.

The issue people are taking with her new respect during the national anthem seems more like people have nothing better to do with their time than razz some person who made a life-altering mistake & learned from it.

Is she all of a sudden a “patriot”? Probably not, but again, I don’t know.

Is she grateful for a country that helped get her home? Absolutely.

Does she understand how good, while not perfect, she has it here in the United States? Undoubtedly.

Did Russia get more out of the trade than we did? Objectively speaking, of course they did. We aren’t at war, and even if we were, Brittney Griner isn’t about to help us out militarily. 

Did her identity factor into her selection for prisoner exchange? I don’t see how it didn’t. But famous people always get a better shake than the average person. Don’t forget Trump 45’s part in cutting a deal to get imprisoned rapper A$AP Rocky freed from Swedish jail. Famous people will always get star treatment. We average people shouldn’t hold our breaths.

Bottom line, America needs to stop being so fucking petty & just move the hell on. 

How are we supposed to heal and move forward if we let media members (like myself) drum up old issues to cash in on people’s worst emotions & inhibitions? 

I get that she trashed America, got freed by America, & is now participating in an American celebration, and that some out there find that hypocritical & predictable. And maybe those of you who believe that are right. But if we don’t give people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes or show personal growth, then what the hell are we doing? 

Would you prefer that she still kneel? What exactly is she supposed to do in that situation to satisfy her detractors? 

I am honestly asking.

For those of you who have a beef with Brittney Griner, what would it take for you to move on? 

I talk trash. I’ve talked trash about Brittney Griner. Probably will again. But the next time I do (assuming she doesn’t put her foot in her mouth again), I need to ask myself “what for?” 

It’s times like this where we as media pundits get a chance to gain perspective on real issues dividing this country. And more importantly, real issues dividing personal growth from ourselves. I’m sure I will piss plenty of people off with my takes. I’m sure this will piss some of you off who are reading this.

Couldn’t care less.

Because one thing I won’t do is disrespect someone showing love to our national anthem. We’re all flawed Americans, at the end of the day. With that in mind, let’s forgive more, hate less, and move the fuck forward already…

TOGETHER.

Write that down. 

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