Brittney Griner wants WNBA to stop playing the national anthem

Brittney Griner will sit in the locker room before each game

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WNBA superstar Brittney Griner sees no value in playing the national anthem before sporting events during these precarious times and if she has to sit in her locker room before each game to prove her point, so be it.

According to the Washington Post, following in the footsteps of other athletes taking a stand for social justice, the Phoenix Mercury center and 2019 WNBA MVP runner-up, has opted to forego the anthem for this upcoming season.

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Seattle Storm v Phoenix Mercury - Game Three
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

“I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season,” Griner recently explained via the Arizona Republic. “I think we should take that much of a stand.”

Griner continued that she would not be on the court as the national anthem is played.

“I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine,” she noted. “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. At the Olympics, I understand you’re playing for your country at that point.”

Police brutality has been at the forefront of many people’s lives ever since the death of George Floyd sparked protests. Many noted that in these discussions Black women continue to be left even farther behind than Black men.

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That’s why when the WNBA and NBA made it clear that it would be allowing players to add victims’ names to their apparel, Griner chose to wear the name of Breonna Taylor – a Black woman who was shot and killed by police in Louisville in March – on her jersey for the entire season.

“We don’t get asked enough what’s going on in our communities, and I think that’s a shame,” the athlete explained earlier this month.

“Yeah, we’re here to play basketball. But basketball doesn’t mean anything in a world where we can’t just live. We can’t wake up and do whatever we want to do. Go for a run, go to the store to buy some candy, drive your car without the fear of being wrongfully pulled over.”

Griner challenged everyone to do more.

“Write the story that might be tough. Take a chance. Ask a question that’s tough. Don’t let it be silent,” she said.

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