Brittney Griner
Brittney Giner via CBS News YouTube

Women’s basketball star Brittney Griner is back in the news again. Months after being swapped in a prisoner exchange with the Russian government for the international criminal Victor Bout, better known infamously as the “Merchant of Death,” Griner is home, free at last, breathing American air and going out of her way to say that it is perfectly fine for men to compete in sports against women.

Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner via Basketball Box YouTube

During a press conference on Thursday, ESPN’s Bill Rhoden asked Griner her thoughts on the topic since this has been the top area of contention in the world of sports for the last few years. Griner is in a same-sex relationship and often spoke out in support of LGBTQ+ issues prior to her arrest in Russia last year for carrying illegal substances into the country.

“You’ve always represented so much throughout your career about access and, you know, being able to do stuff,” said Rhoden, “and I hate to put one more thing on your plate, but there have been a number of states who are aggressively moving to prevent transgender athletes from playing.”

“And I was wondering, again, I’d hate to put one more thing on your plate, but in terms of on your radar, where is that?” he continued. “You’re gonna have a tremendous platform, but where is that going to be on your radar in terms of advocating for athletes, all transgender athletes being able to play?”

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Griner remarked, “I mean, that ranks high on the list of things that I’ll be fighting for and speaking up against, you know, everyone has, everyone deserves the right to play, everyone deserves the right to come here, sit in these seats, and feel safe, and not feel like there’s a threat or they can’t be who they are or, um, like it’s just all eyes on them.”

“So, I think it’s a crime, honestly, to separate someone for any reason,” she continued. “So, I definitely will be speaking up against those, that legislation, and those laws that are trying to be passed for sure.”

Victor Bout

Victor Bout via Al Jazeera English

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Isn’t it great that we let loose a notorious arms dealer so that Griner, who has already won her championships and fame, can pave the way for a younger generation of female athletes to compete against men?

It isn’t like there are special legal protections, protected spaces, scholarships, grants, and other benefits to women and female athletes in particular in the United States that will now be claimed by men pretending to be women. It’s ok though, because separating professional and collegiate leagues by gender is wrong, right? It’s great to know that while hundreds of Americans were left behind in Taliban controlled Afghanistan, and now Sudan, we were able to get her back.

You can watch the full press conference below.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.

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