Sports columnist Jason Whitlock has claimed that the WNBA is pivoting away from Brittney Griner for more feminine players.

Griner spoke to ABC’s Robin Roberts earlier this week, detailing her horrific experience in a Russian prison after her 2022 arrest at a Moscow airport for cannabis possession, and is releasing a book, ‘Coming Home,’ on May 7.

And Whitlock has suggested the basketball superstar is attempting to rebrand herself and distance herself from her previous ‘anti-American’ stances to try to reposition herself within the evolving WNBA.

She was very anti-American before sitting in a Russian prison for eight months and maybe that’s all the conversion these hard-core leftists need,’ Whitlock said on his podcast, ‘Fearless with Jason Whitlock.

‘But I don’t buy it. I think she’s trying to reposition herself. The WNBA is starting to go more feminine and go more likeable.

Brittney Griner was very anti-American before sitting in a Russian prison. I think she’s trying to reposition herself, and I don’t buy it. The WNBA is trying to go more feminine and likeable with Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese, and Griner doesn’t fit into that“. – Jason Whitlock

Jason Whitlock has claimed that the WNBA is pivoting away from Brittney Griner
Griner spoke to ABC’s Robin Roberts this week, detailing her experience in a Russian prison

I’ve even seen a buddy of mine sent me pictures yesterday of some LA Sparks players at, I think, an NBA game and it looked like a beauty contest.

[…] I think they’re intentionally going, “we don’t want the best players, we want the most feminine players.

‘And it’s the right call. I’m telling you because none of the ladies play such an exciting game of basketball beyond two or three of them that getting someone who looks feminine is better for marketing and selling tickets than getting someone who might play 10 or 15 percent better.

And so I see the WNBA pivoting away from Britney Griner. And this book and this interview tour is about trying to make Brittany Griner likable, because she’s been very unlikable.

Griner had been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison after being caught with a cannabis oil cartridge while returning to Russia to resume playing for her European team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, in February 2022.

She was freed in a 1-for-1 swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in December 2022 that has since been criticized for its failure to return Paul Whelan, a US Marine imprisoned on espionage charges in 2018.

Before her arrest, back in 2020, she stated that she didn’t think the national anthem should be played during the WNBA season, adding that she would not be on the court for the anthem if it were to continue to be played before games.
However, on her return to the court in May 2023, Griner stood for the national anthem before the Phoenix Mercury’s tip-off against the Los Angeles Sparks.

Angel Reese on Caitlin Clark - We 'don't hate each other' - ESPN
The sports columnist claimed the WNBA is becoming more feminine. Pictured: Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark (L-R) at the 2024 draft in New York

You have the right to protest, the right to able to speak out, question, challenge and do all these things,’ Griner said of her U-turn, according to ESPN.

What I went through and everything, it just means a little bit more to me now. So I want to be able to stand. I was literally in a cage [in Russia] and could not stand the way I wanted to.

Just being able to hear my national anthem, see my flag, I definitely want to stand. Now everybody that will not stand or not come out, I totally support them 100 percent. That’s our right, as an American in this great country.

During her sit-down interview with ABC, Griner considered taking her own life with the conditions in the Russian penal colony leaving her feeling ‘less than human’.

I wanted to take my life more than once in those first weeks,’ she said in the sit-down interview on 20/20: Prisoner of Russia Wednesday night. ‘I felt like leaving here so badly.

I didn’t think I could get through what I needed to get through. I definitely thought about it,’ she added about considering suicide.

‘But then, I was just like, what if they didn’t release my body to my family? And I was like, I can’t put them through that. I have to endure this.’
Griner stood for the national anthem at her first game back, despite previously protesting it

Griner stood for the national anthem at her first game back, despite previously protesting it

Griner’s thoughts of suicide came in the town of Yavas in Mordovia – a region known for its prison camps.

The basketball superstar detailed the shocking conditions she had to endure, including finding a ‘big-a** knife’ left lying in her cell when she first entered.

‘When we walk into the cell, there’s a bathroom. There’s a little rinkity sink that leaks and then just add a layer of dust, dirt, grime, blood stains. Just filth,’ she said.

I had a couple of shirts, a couple of pairs of sweats, the shoes on my feet,’ she continued. ‘One of my shirts, I ripped it up and I used one to clean myself. I used one as my toilet paper. With my dirty, dirty hole in the ground with feces all over it.

That was the moment where I just felt the dirtiest and, like, less than a human.

For support call Samaritans on 116123 in the UK or visit, or the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline on 988 in the US.