Scroll To Top

Brittney Griner Harassed by Right-Wing Media Host at Dallas Airport

Brittney Griner Harassed by Right-Wing Media Host at Dallas Airport

Brittney Griner and teammates
Jen Rosenstein

Alex Stein said Griner "hates America" and asked if she had sex with Vladimir Putin in order to be released from Russia.

WNBA star Brittney Griner was harassed by a right-wing media personality Saturday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, with the man accusing her of hating America and asking if she had sex with President Vladimir Putin in order to get released from Russia.

Griner, a lesbian who is center for the Phoenix Mercury, was catching a flight to Indianapolis with her team to play the Indiana Fever after two games with the Dallas Wings, ESPN reports. She was confronted by Alex Stein, host of Blaze Media’s Prime Time With Alex Stein. He began yelling at her, as shown in a video he posted to his YouTube channel.

“Was that a fair trade for the merchant of death? I know you kill it on the court, but he kills it in real life,” Stein said, referring to convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, released by the U.S. in exchange for Griner’s freedom last December. She had been arrested, convicted, and imprisoned in Russia for having a small amount of cannabis oil in her luggage when she arrived in the nation in February 2022 to play for a Russian team.

“Is it true you had to have sex with Vladimir Putin to get released from Russia?” Stein continued, later adding, “What about his wife?” He also asked, “Do you hate America?” and said, “You should be ashamed of yourself” over the prisoner swap. “She hates America,” he said to a security guard who restrained him and led him away.

The WNBA had approved for Griner to take charter flights rather than commercial ones because of concerns about her safety since returning from Russia, but it’s not clear why she wasn’t on a charter flight Saturday, ESPN reports. Because charter flights are more costly than commercial travel, the WNBA allows use of them only in limited circumstances. After the Saturday incident, some are calling for the league to let teams fly charter routinely.

“It’s past time for charters and enhanced security measures for all players,” tweeted Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas.

The WNBA Players Association, the union for the league’s athletes, released a statement saying, “Allowing teams to fly charter ONLY is about player health and safety, and until the league and teams take this issue seriously, situations about this will continue to occur. … We implore the league and teams not to wait another day to change the rule regarding travel.”

Griner’s teammate Brianna Turner wrote on Twitter, “Player safety while traveling should be at the forefront. People following with cameras saying wild remarks is never acceptable. Excessive harassment. Our team nervously huddled in a corner unsure how to move about. We demand better.”

The Mercury tweeted that it was reviewing the situation and “will always take every step within our power to protect player safety. We are committed to our support of BG and advocating for all American hostages abroad. We will continue our support of marginalized communities and fighting the kind of hate that targeted us today.”

There was some criticism of the deal that freed Griner because it did not include the release of Paul Whelan, an American detained in Russia on espionage charges of which he says he’s innocent. However, the U.S. government said the deal Russia offered was for Griner only. Griner has spoken in support of Whelan.

Advocate Magazine - Gio BenitezAdvocate Channel Promotion

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories