ESPN has meltdown after barely anyone shows up for Brittney Griner “welcome back” party – and it’s epic


The following includes editorial content which is the opinion of the writer.

WACO, TX- The female WNBA player who bounces basketballs for a living and who was traded for arguably one of the worst terrorists in the world to secure her freedom from a Russian jail, Brittney Griner, is apparently not as popular as the leftist media would have us believe.

According to the Media Research Center, University Baptist Church in Waco, TX., located only miles from Baylor University where Griner attended college, sought to host a welcome back party for Griner after she returned back from Russia.

Now one might think that an icon of the alphabet community who checks off a number of boxes on the woke checklist might draw a bit of a crowd for such a momentous event. In truth, only about 20 people actually showed up for the event. And that led the wokest of all woke sports networks, ESPN, to go off. More on that in a bit.

“I will say this: Baylor’s women’s coach has long used her own personal platform to…give support and love for Brittney,” Sharyl West Loeung, a speaker and “facilitator” at the church said. “But otherwise, from an administrative point of view, that hasn’t happened. For myself, coming from a graduate of the seminary and having worked there and [knowing] how much they confess being this Christian organization, I really wanted to see more.”

What was she expecting to see? It isn’t like Griner was a prisoner of war being held by a foreign adversary. She was in essence a common criminal who broke Russian law.

Now we can argue all we want about the seriousness of her crime, but honestly, in a country that has been holding people who engaged in merely trespassing on the US Capitol grounds for nearly two years, without bond, in squalid conditions, who are we to argue about conditions in Russia?

If you’re unfamiliar with the Griner case, which honestly most Americans were until her release was secured by swapping the “Merchant of Death” for her, she was arrested for illegally possessing marijuana derivatives, in this case CBD oils in a Russian airport. Griner pleaded guilty, in fact, to that crime.

One admonition made by the US State Department when Americans travel abroad is to familiarize yourself with the laws and customs of the country you are visiting. Ignorance is no excuse. Nobody planted the cannabis substance on Griner…she brought it in knowingly and willingly, thereby putting herself at the mercy of the Russian legal system, be that as it may.

As expected, the mainstream media complex in the US circled the wagons around Griner, ignoring the actions she took and instead decided to, as MRC notes, “highlight her ‘victimhood.’”

Griner, being a minority (black) and a lesbian to boot was too much for the media to bear. Meanwhile, a United States Marine, who has been held in a Russian gulag for four years, is ignored. Because he’s white and he’s straight. Therefore, he’s not a “victim.”

A couple of weeks ago, Loeung announced to an assembly at the University Baptist Church that Griner had returned to Texas.

“As many as you know, Brittney Griner is on Texas soil today,” she said. “That is something we’re celebrating and spinning it as a week of joy.”

Continuing, she announced there would be a service of celebration for Griner, which was initially scheduled to be more of a vigil until the Biden administration traded a terrorist for the equivalent of a bag of rocks. Loeung also said the celebration would be used to pray for the aforementioned Marine, Paul Whelan and other detainees.

ESPN then waxes poetic and questions Baylor University’s commitment to one if its alumni. They inquired to the university about the institution’s support for Griner, and a school spokesperson supplied an email listing 15 social media posts and school statement issued between March 5 and Dec. 8, the state of Griner’s release. Ten Twitter posts came from Baylor women’s basketball coach Nicki Collen and another from the Baylor women’s basketball account.

In support of Griner, the university said the women’s team is wearing “BG” patches on their uniforms for the season.

“Baylor’s women’s basketball team is wearing ‘BG’ patches on their uniforms this season. This was done with the full support of the University.”

ESPN noted Griner plans on returning to the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this upcoming season and will “no doubt be celebrated by fans and supporters in WNBA cities. The league is a tight knit bubble of activists and acceptance.”

This reminds us of the adage, “If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and none one is around to hear it, does it make any sound?” Most Americans…in fact an overwhelming number of Americans don’t give a rip about the WNBA, with the exception of the cities in which there is a franchise.

In fact according to Statista, the average attendance at a WNBA game is about 5,500 fans per game. There are a couple of outliers who have somewhat better attendance, including Griner’s Phoenix Mercury which draws an average of just under 8,000 fans per game. However by and large, nobody pays attention to the WNBA.

That led ESPN to breathlessly ask:

“Will she be celebrated and welcomed home by Baylor, by Waco, by Texans, by her country? How will she be seen, beyond her basketball legacy? How ill Baylor and Waco come to terms with what has happened to one of its most famous former residents and what she now means to the community?”

This is a basketball player about whom we are talking. This isn’t a prisoner of war held in North Vietnam for a decade or more. This is a woman who admitted breaking Russian law and who was imprisoned for doing so.

Now ESPN expects Americans to hold parades celebrating her release? And it can also be argued that the conditions in the Russian jail were probably better than the conditions in the Washington, DC gulag where January 6 protesters are being held in violation of their constitutional rights.

ESPN refers to Griner as a so-called “lightning rod for the cultural wars where anonymous social media accounts and cable news networks argue about marijuana, the prison swap for a notorious Russian arms dealer and her comments during the height of the Black Lives Matter movement about the national anthem.”

That last statement is key. It will be interesting to see if Griner, who virtually spit on the American flag and our national anthem to protest the fantasy of systemic racism after the death of George Floyd, has gained any perspective as to the type of country who would trade the world’s most infamous weapons dealer for a person who bounces balls for a living. Did those months in a Russian jail give her any humility? We’ll see.

“It’s a bit of a trifecta,” Loeung said while making sure to note that Griner is black, gay, and was arrested on drug charges. “And then you throw in the fact, it’s an apples-and-oranges situation, but there are people who are upset that there was a former Marine who was not brought home and she was.”

“Apples and oranges?” No, not really. One is an American who served his country as a United States Marine. The other was someone who checked off the right boxes but contributed nothing to the country except to claim what a terrible place it is.

Despite the whining about Baylor University’s perceived lack of support for Griner, some believe the university was merely exercising caution in publicly advocating for her. One such person is Phyllis Gamble, who played for the women’s basketball team in the early 1980s.

“I think from our U.S. government, it was, ‘Keep us in your thought and prayers and let us work,’” Gamble said. “And I truly believe not a one of us wanted to say or do anything that would harm negotiations.”

“The people in my world could not be more supportive of Brittney Griner. Now am I aware that everything in this country is divided? Yes, I’m aware of that. You would have to be living under a rock to not know that. I could throw out any issue right now and we could have an argument about it, but in my world, the folks that I listen to, the folks that I hand around with, the folks that I text back and forth, we are fans of Brittney Griner.”

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