Feature image photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for BET
If you watched last night’s WNBA draft, you know how excited every player and coach in the league, every ESPN employee, every sports writer is to have Brittney Griner home from her wrongful imprisonment in Russia. Her name and image were all over last year’s draft, too; WNBA commish Cathy Engelbert even opened both drafts talking about how much the W loves and supports her. The draft was the first official WNBA event since BG returned to the U.S., and her homecoming lent even more excitement to this year’s ceremony. The WNBA is simply not the WNBA without BG. And today, Griner announced that she’ll be writing a memoir about that “unfathomable period” in her life, which she says she’s now ready to share.
On Instagram Griner wrote, “The primary reason I traveled back to Russia for work that day was because I wanted to make my wife, family, and teammates proud. After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home. Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world.”
According to Deadline, Griner’s as-yet untitled memoir will talk about her “arrest at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on February 17, followed by her detention, trial, and imprisonment in Russia, as well as the efforts in public and behind the scenes at the highest levels of government to bring her home… Griner also describes her stark and surreal time living in a foreign prison and the terrifying aspects of day-to-day life in a women’s penal colony.”
I’m so glad that BG’s being given a platform to share her harrowing story from her perspective, and in doing so to shine a light on the the pay inequity in women’s sports that forced her hand in her decision to travel back to Moscow to play an eighth season for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the global crisis that allowed for her to become a political prisoner. I’m so glad the league — and everyone anywhere near it — is standing with her and empowering her to share her story. I’m so glad she has the most brilliant, supportive, loving wife beside her every day. I’m so glad she’s going to get to play this season. But mostly, I’m filled with an unquenchable joy that Brittney Griner is home.
Alfred A. Knopf will publish BG’s memoir which will land in spring 2024.