In early April, reporter Morty Ain spoke with Brittney Griner about all things Body — from growth-spurt pains and size 17 shoes to being bullied and coming out to her parents. Then, on April 22, the conversation around Griner changed. She and then-fiancee Glory Johnson, also of the WNBA, were arrested at their home in Arizona on charges of assault and disorderly conduct. The police report described the incident as “mutual combat.” On April 28, Griner pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct (the assault charge was dropped) and agreed to undergo 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling, after which the disorderly conduct charge will also be dropped. Johnson pleaded not guilty to charges of disorderly conduct and assault; her case was subsequently dismissed. On June 5, less than a month after the two married, Griner filed for an annulment. Following the arrests, the WNBA suspended both Griner and Johnson for seven games. Griner resumed playing on June 27, while Johnson, now pregnant, is sitting out the season. (Johnson did not return requests for comment.) As part of a follow-up interview for the Body Issue, espnW reporter Kate Fagan sat down with Griner to discuss the incident. The following is pulled from both interviews.
ON HER ARREST You know, you do something, you have to pay the price for it, and I understand that. I understand what I did was wrong. [The incident] was mutual; they call it “mutual combat.” And that’s what it was. But I wish I had walked away. No matter what it is, walk away from an altercation. You see it getting heated, you see it escalating … walk away no matter what. That was my worst decision; I should’ve left. Because it never ends good. Domestic violence is never OK, no matter what the situation.