Is Brittney Griner a man or a woman? While most people claim Brittney Griner is a man based on appearance, others think otherwise.
You cannot blame anyone who thinks Griner is a man. The WNBA superstar looks like a man. But there is no need for the invective hurled at Griner regularly by basketball fans across the globe.
On social media platforms, many identify Griner as a male. Fans have even labeled the athlete the first male to play in the WNBA. But are these allegations true? Is Griner a male? Here is what we know about Griner’s gender.
Is Brittney Griner A Man?
Brittney Griner is not a man but a woman. She does look like a male, though. In addition to her appearance, her deep voice, big hands (bigger than LeBron’s), and big feet make people assume Griner is a male.
The WNBA superstar is lanky and often dresses like a male. Her athleticism, energy, and performance give fans more reasons to question if she’s genuinely a female.
With dunks, NCAA records, and 3,283 points over four years, no one can doubt that Brittney Griner is one of the most decorated female basketball players ever.
Who Is Brittney Griner?
Born on October 18, 1990, in Houston, Texas, Brittney Yevette Griner is an American professional basketball player. She currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury as of the time of writing. She has been with them since 2013.
Griner plays in the U.S. women’s national basketball team and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She’s also a six-time Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) All-Star.
Griner’s awards cabinet isn’t empty. She even made the list of Time Magazine’s 2023 100 most influential people worldwide.
Brittney Griner started displaying her incredible basketball talent from a young age. She started playing the sport at nine, displaying her ability to dominate on the court.
Griner’s family moved around a bit while she was growing up. They lived in Oklahoma and Arizona before settling in Texas, where she attended the prestigious Nimitz High School.
While in Nimitz High School, Griner’s passion for the sport didn’t stop. She played basketball in her sophomore year, and while most females would prefer to play with their fellow females, Griner didn’t care. She often practiced with the boy basketball team and always gave a good account of herself.
Griner’s dedication to the sport and willingness to grow has been remarkable. From such a young age, she didn’t only push herself to the limit by playing with the boys’ basketball team. In addition, she had a Nimitz football coach training her. She wanted to strengthen her legs to become a better dunker.
So when you see Griner dunk so well, know she has paid the price to reach such a high level. While still in Nimitz High School, one YouTube video of her dunking received millions of views. The video was so popular that Shaquille O’Neal wanted to meet her in person.
Brittney Griner’s Statement About Her Body
Griner spoke about her body in an interview with ESPN. In the interview, she described herself as athletically lanky. She said, “I want to show people I am athletically lanky.”
She claimed she was comfortable in her body and didn’t mind displaying it. She went further by stating how much she likes her body.
Griner claimed she loves her big arms, hands, and long legs. She enjoys being different. “If everybody in the world were the same, it would be a boring planet,” said Griner.
She acknowledged that people always look at her photos and assume she’s a man. But she doesn’t care because it’s her body. “It is left for people to accept me for who I am or not,” said Griner.
Griner is a role model for people who aren’t confident about their bodies. She doesn’t care about what the world thinks about her.
She gets stares a lot, being 6-foot-8. Her feet are also bigger than Kareem’s. Her hands are bigger than LeBron’s, and her shoe size is 17 men’s.
Griner’s palm was so big at a very young age. She claimed she could even palm basketball since she was a freshman in high school. However, her coordination was horrible when she first started playing basketball.
Griner claimed she got into high school at 6 feet and left at 6-7 feet tall. She then grew another inch while in college. She further claimed that she had always been athletic but lost her athleticism as she grew taller.
Speaking to ESPN, Griner acknowledged feeling awkward as she got taller and had crazy knee pains in seventh grade.
“It was hell for me to sit down in the school chairs because they were connected to the desk, and I hated it,” said Griner. Instead of comfort, sitting on the chairs at school brought her pain. The WNBA superstar claimed she even felt knee pain while walking around.
The excruciating pain she felt on her knees stopped miraculously in her ninth grade. And she claimed the pains must have been her pre-growth-spurt pain.
Brittney Griner’s Basketball College Career
Griner captured the hearts of scouts across the country while playing varsity basketball. She was in another league, delivering performances that no one in the country and her age could match.
Her consistent excellent performances on the court won her a scholarship to join and play for Baylor University. Again, she didn’t disappoint. She was consistently delivering incredible performances in every game she featured in.
Griner blocked 223 shots in a single season as a rookie, making her one of the best-shot blockers in women’s basketball history.
Griner steered Baylor Lady Bears to the 2012 NCAA title, capping the team’s undefeated season (40-0). She was the best collegiate women’s player, winning the Naismith and Wooden awards. She was also named the A.P. Player of the Year.
She scored 3,283 points in college basketball, making her one of the best female players in the NCAA’s history.
A Handy Tip: Griner is the only female basketball player to block 500 shots and score at least 2000 points. She clinched the Best Female Athlete ESPY Award and was always a joy to watch.
Brittney Griner Professional Basketball Career
Griner’s professional career is filled with awards, global recognition, and titles. She was the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft. The Phoenix Mercury picked her, and that was the start of something huge. She hit the ground running from her first game and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down.
Griner’s impact on the team was felt instantly. She won Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie Player of the Year awards in her first season.
Her dominance on the court caught the basketball community’s eyes and earned her a multi-year contract extension with Phoenix Mercury.
Griner’s physical features make her a dominant basketball player. She stands at 6 ft 9 in (206 cm) tall and wears size 17 shoes, which men in the United States wear.
Griner’s arm span measures 87.5 in (222 cm). She has an incredible physique that makes her unstable on the court.
Brittney Griner’s Performance at the Olympics
Griner’s involvement in the United States women’s basketball team started in 2016. She competed in the Rio Olympics and was a massive addition to the team.
She clinched her first Olympic gold medal by beating Spain 101 – 72 in the championship game. Her impact on the U.S. women’s basketball team was also evident in the 2020 Olympics (organized in 2021 in Tokyo, Japan). She helped her team clinch the gold medal.
She has clinched the FIBA Women’s World Cup twice with Team USA (2014 and 2018).
Is Brittney Griner Married?
Yes, Griner is married. She has been married twice as of the time of writing. Here are Griner’s partners.
Glory Johnson – Griner’s first partner
Brittney Griner was once married to Glory Johnson. Griner proposed to her on August 14, 2014, and they got married on May 8, 2015.
For the record, Glory Johnson is a fellow WNBA player. And even though the relationship between athletes led to marriage, it wasn’t all that rosy initially.
Griner and Glory Johnson once fought in their Phoenix, Arizona, apartment. And they both sustained injuries from the fight.
The fight led to both partners being detained for disorderly conduct and assault charges in May 2015. But even though they had a nasty fight, Griner still got married to Glory Johnson.
The WNBA wasn’t happy with Griner and Glory Johnson’s conduct. After Griner pleaded guilty to the disorderly conduct brought against her in 2015, the WNBA suspended her and Johnson for seven games each.
Griner was remorseful for her actions and had to undergo counseling for domestic abuse for 26 weeks. Then, in June 2015, Griner and Johnson announced that Johnson was expecting twins. Johnson got pregnant via vitro fertilization.
A day after Griner and Johnson’s announcement, Griner requested the annulment of their marriage, citing coercion and fraud. Unfortunately, her request wasn’t granted.
Johnson gave birth to two adorable girls in 2015 and immediately requested that Griner pay child support. The marriage was officially annulled in 2016.
Cherelle Watson – Griner’s second partner
Griner is now married to Cherelle Watson, two years after divorcing Glory Johnson. Griner proposed to her in August 2018, and the wedding took place in June 2019.
Griner and Cherelle have been together through thick and thin. Cherelle even made her love for her partner apparent by changing her last name from Watson to Griner.
Griner and Cherelle attended the same school, Baylor University in Texas. And they have been close friends since then.
“I’ll never forget the day I met you at Baylor in the sub-area!” Griner wrote on her Instagram page. “You tapped me on my shoulder and told me I took your milkshake (still up for debate lol) and I was immediately blown away at your beauty!”
Cherelle has always been there for the WNBA superstar through the lowest and highest points in her professional career and personal life. Griner even acknowledged her support in her Instagram post.
One scenario where Cherelle displayed her love and support for Griner was during the WNBA superstar’s arrest in Russia. Griner was arrested for a drug-related offense, an event that got the world’s attention.
Cherelle stood by Griner during the WNBA superstar’s ordeal. Even though she couldn’t visit her partner in Russia, she always supported her from afar. Cherelle constantly updated fans about the progress to secure Griner’s release on her social media page.
Brittney Griner Detainment And Conviction In Russia
Brittney Griner wasn’t the first American to be arrested in Russia, but news of her arrest made global headlines. She was arrested in Russia on February 17, 2022, when she traveled to the country to play for Ekaterinburg.
Why was Griner arrested?
Though supporters and numerous political analysts who didn’t have firsthand knowledge of the issue claimed Griner’s arrest was politically motivated, that wasn’t the case. The Russian authorities claimed she had vape cartridges with cannabis oil in her luggage, a substance prohibited in Russia.
As she remained in prison, calls for her release both home and abroad intensified. The publicity and media attention Griner’s arrest received made many political analysts believe she would be a valuable hostage to Russia.
Was Brittney Griner tried in Russia? Yes, she was.
Griner was tried in July 2022, though she entered a guilty plea at the start of the trial.
Was Brittney Griner guilty of the charge brought against her? Yes, she was.
Claims that Griner’s arrest was politically motivated weren’t valid. The WNBA star committed an offense that was punishable under the laws of the land.
She agreed she had the vape cartridge with cannabis oil in her luggage but claimed she accidentally packed it. Furthermore, her lawyer claimed she had a prescription for the drug, though this was music to the ears of the authorities.
Griner’s trial went ahead per Russia’s judicial regulations. On August 4, 2022, the court found her guilty of trying to smuggle illegal drugs into the country with the intent to commit a crime.
Brittney Griner Goes To Jail
Even though Griner’s arrest wasn’t politically motivated, she committed the offense when Russia and the United States of America had a fractured relationship.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for possessing an illegal drug. She filed an appeal, but a Russian court dismissed it. So, there was no way out for her except through diplomatic means.
Griner was moved from a detention facility near Moscow to an unknown location to serve her nine-year sentence. Later, she was moved to the Female Penal Colony IK-2 in Yavas, about 300 miles southeast of Moscow.
Brittney Griner’s Release from Prison
The public outcry for Griner’s release gave the United States government sleepless nights. Several rallies were held in her honor, with participants calling on the United States government to secure her release.
Finally, on July 27, 2022, the United States President, Joe Biden, approved a prisoner swap deal involving Griner and Paul Whelan ( U.S. Citizens) with Viktor Bout (a Russian citizen), an arms dealer.
Griner was exchanged with Viktor, but Whelan wasn’t. Joe Biden acknowledged how disappointed Whelan’s family would have felt over Russia’s refusal to release him. The president did assure the family and everyone seeking Whelan’s release that he’ll never give up.
Is Brittney Griner a man? The short answer is no! Griner is a female and was born one. People claim she’s a male because of her big hands, feet, appearance, and height. Her palm is bigger than LeBron’s. That shows you how big it is.
Griner does look like a man, judging by her external features. But the thing is, identifying people’s gender through external features can be misleading.
From constant bullying by online trolls to arrest in Russia, Griner has faced several challenges in her lifetime. People constantly bully her because of her physical appearance, but that has to stop.
We’re all different and unique. So, people should learn to respect others.
Griner has brilliantly handled all the abuses thrown at her over the years. She also clarified that she doesn’t care what people think about her.