With all the publicity about male athletes committing domestic violence, each of the major sports leagues has been mandated to implement a policy in dealing with players who commit domestic violence. Interestingly, the WNBA was not on the mandated list. Maybe because people don’t think it could be an issue for the women players, in spite of the fact that there have been some previous incidents.

A few years ago, Chamique Holdsclaw was arrested for holding her ex-girlfriend at gunpoint. A couple of other women were arrested in previous years for domestic violence on girlfriends or exes.

This most recent event caused a stir and made the newspapers because of the high profile of the players involved. Brittany Griner is the 6’8″ player with the Phoenix Mercury. Her fiancé, Glory Johnson, was also arrested. One reason this incident drew such notice is because this couple is very high profile. Their engagement was highlighted by ESPN and the league. They were even selected by “Say Yes to the Dress” to be shown on their program. This couple became the immediate “face” of normalizing lesbian couples in the WNBA. 

They had recently bought and moved into a home outside of Phoenix. (Glory plays for Tulsa.). They got into a physical fight that erupted, calmed down, and erupted again. Police were called. Both were arrested and charged with battery. Neither had serious injuries.

Their statement afterward sounded just like the men.  Please respect our privacy as we deal with this family matter. Sorry, but you forfeited that privacy when you were arrested for domestic violence. 

What a disappointment. Yes, we know that lesbian couples engage in domestic violence. But, it is extremely disappointing that two women who have chosen to make their relationship so public, then engage in behaviors that tarnish lesbians and the WNBA. 

Whatever their issues, I hope Brittany Griner and Glory Johnson seek appropriate help to deal with this.  And I hope the WNBA shows the courage to deal with this issue head on. Just as male athletes have been suspended for domestic violence, these players should be as well. The WNBA should have zero tolerance for domestic violence.