Brittney Griner gained widespread fame from her achievements in basketball, but she is much more than just an athlete. Griner’s activities outside the court have prompted people to look up everything about her, including her ideological beliefs and religion.
Born to a Christian family in Houston, Texas, Griner has always been a rebel. She began questioning traditional norms and beliefs that restricted her will and freedom since childhood.
Although her life choices and deeds have landed her in grave situations numerous times, she is adamant about her worldview. Because of this, she is one of the most controversial figures in American basketball’s history.
Brittney Yevette Griner, better known as Brittney Griner, is an American professional basketball player who plays for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association.
A former student-athlete at Baylor University, she debuted in the NBA for the Mercury in 2013 after they chose her as the first overall pick in that year’s draft. While at Baylor, she became the NCAA champion in 2012.
Griner is also one of the most decorated women’s basketball players in history, with numerous accolades in and outside the United States.
Aside from being the WNBA champion, she is the three-time Russian National League Champion. Moreover, she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time WNBA All-Star.
Brittney Griner Religion And Ethnicity
Brittney Griner was born to her parents, Raymond and Sandra Griner, on October 18, 1990, in Houston, Texas.
Speaking of her ethnic background, she is of mixed heritage. Her mother, Sandra, reportedly a housewife, is of Latin American descent.
Meanwhile, her dad, Raymond, who served as a Harris County Deputy Sheriff for years, is African American. He was previously in the military and was even posted in the Vietnam War in the late sixties.
As Brittney’s family is a Christian, she grew up going to church every Sunday. While she still believes in “a higher being or God,” she has left being the typical Christ worshipper for years.
Griner figured she was a lesbian in her middle school, due to which she was bullied by her friends and family whom she grew up around.
Her most frustrating experience was during her years at Baylor University, a Baptist Christian University. She faced difficulty even from the faculty members and coaches there because of who she was, though she was one of their most capable athletes.
All these past experiences have made her redefine her understanding of religion, which is different from that of others. However, she is still a Christian.
More On Griner’s Activism And Imprisonment In Russia
Brittney Griner is fierce and outspoken. Only some months before the 2013 WNBA draft, she came out as a lesbian during an interview with Sports Illustrated.
During that interview, she also revealed that she did not get enough support when she told her close ones about it; even her father was angry.
After fame, however, she began teaching young people about bullying against minorities, especially LGBT people, and speaking up against it.
Additionally, she published a book titled In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, recounting her experiences of getting bullied and her journey towards self-acceptance.
Moreover, she has been an outspoken critic of the ills of modern American society, such as racism, police brutality, economic disparity, and everything that goes against her vision of a progressive society.
Although she admitted that she had no intention to break the law, Griner eventually pleaded guilty, and the court sentenced her to 9 years in prison on August 4.
However, after immense pressure from the international community, the Russian authorities released her in exchange for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout on December 8, 2022.