‘How was it not a sellout?’ Head coach peeved over lack of interest in Brittney Griner’s WNBA return

The head coach of the Phoenix Mercury, the team Brittney Griner plays for, is facing backlash and mockery over her ridiculous expectations.

On Friday, Griney played her first WNBA match since her return from Russia, where she’d been incarcerated for breaking the law.

The problem, according to head coach Vanessa Nygaard, is that not enough people showed up to watch the game.

“It was great, but like honestly, come on LA. We didn’t sell out the arena for BG. Like, I expected more. You know, to be honest, like it was great, it was loud, but how was it not a sellout? how was it not a sellout?” she told reporters following the game.


The mockery was swift and deafening.


The reasons for the mockery were numerous.

For one, the WNBA isn’t exactly known for is impressive talent, ergo why the league has never been that particularly popular.

Case in point:

Also, there is a sense of resentment in America over Griner’s release.

As previously reportedly, Griner was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison after she was caught bringing what is essentially liquid marijuana (vapable marijuana) into the country.

Following her sentencing, the Biden administration began negotiating with Russia to secure her release. Eventually the administration reached a deal whereby it’d exchange notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for her.

The exchange occurred on Dec. 8th of 2022, prompting anger from critics for several key reasons, including the fact that the administration was willing to give up a very notorious figure for a basketball player.

Critics were also bothered because the Biden administration chose to prioritize securing Griner’s release while ignoring Paul Whelan, a U.S. Marine who’s been jailed in Russia since 2018 on bogus charges of spying.

This leads to the third reason for mockery and backlash: Griner’s anti-Americanism. Back in 2020, she came out against the National Anthem.

“Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner does not believe the National Anthem should be played before WNBA games and will not be on the floor if it is,” The Arizona Republic reported at the time.

“Griner made her comments during a teleconference Monday, two days after the Mercury’s opening game at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Players were not on the floor for the anthem during that game, honoring the late Breonna Taylor, other victims of police brutality and Black Lives Matter,” the Republic added.

Speaking in her own words, she said, “I honestly feel we should not play the National Anthem during our season. I think we should take that much of a stand. I don’t mean that in any disrespect to our country. My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years. I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country.”

That being said, her attitude has since changed:

“I’m grateful to be here, that’s for sure. I’m not going to take a day for granted. Hearing the national anthem, it definitely hit different,” she told reporters after her first game back.

“It’s like when you go for the Olympics, you’re sitting there, about to get gold put on your neck, the flags are going up, and the anthem is playing, it just hits different,” she added.

Vivek Saxena


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles