Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner having second thoughts, may appeal suspension
PHOENIX — As it stands right now, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner will miss the first seven games of the regular season, which begins June 5.
Griner, however, is considering appealing the suspension handed down last month by WNBA President Laurel J. Ritchie for her role in an altercation with then-fiancé Glory Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock.
“My teammates and players in the league have definitely been talking to me about appealing it,” Griner said at media day on Monday.
Both Griner and Johnson were arrested on suspicion of domestic assault after an argument turned physical in their Goodyear home April 23.
Griner had initially said she wouldn’t contest the suspension.
Johnson, whom Griner married on May 9, is appealing her seven-game ban.
“I don’t want anybody to think that I’m not taking what happened seriously because I definitely do,” Griner said. “I definitely take full responsibility and I know what I did and I know the consequences that I have. But, players have been talking to me, so I don’t know.”
Griner has until Friday, when the season tips off, to make a decision.
“I don’t know,” she said. “We’ll see.”
A seven-game suspension amounts to more than 20 percent of the 2015-16 schedule.
Griner is not eligible to play until June 27 at Minnesota.
Even if Griner does appeal, she still would not be able to suit up and play against San Antonio, nor would she be permitted to participate in the pregame ring ceremony and banner unveiling to celebrate the Mercury’s 2014 WNBA Championship.
Last season, Griner averaged 15.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.8 blocks to earn All-WNBA First Team honors. Her 129 blocks set a single-season record, helping her win Defensive Player of the Year.
Griner was also named an All-Star for the second time in as many seasons.
“I’m going to be the biggest cheerleader,” she said, adding she hoped to FaceTime a teammate or have a giant cardboard cutout of her put behind the bench.
“I’ll be here in spirit.”