Brittney Griner Takes Mental Health Break from Traveling with Mercury

Brittney Griner Takes Mental Health Break from Traveling with Mercury

Brittney Griner

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In a powerful move that highlights the importance of mental health in professional sports, Brittney Griner, the All-Star center for the Phoenix Mercury, has decided not to travel with the team for their next two games. This decision comes as she seeks to prioritize her well-being and recovery after facing significant challenges both on and off the court.

A Difficult Journey:
Griner’s journey back to the WNBA was marked by adversity as she was released from a Russian prison, where she was incarcerated over a drug charge. The United States negotiated a prisoner swap, securing her release, but the ordeal left a lasting impact on her mental and emotional state. Despite the immense hurdles she faced, Griner displayed her undeniable talent and resilience, averaging 18.2 points and 6.7 rebounds in 20 games upon her return.

The Weight of Struggles: 

However, Griner’s personal challenges have also taken a toll on her team’s performance. The Mercury has struggled this season with a record of 6-17, leading to the dismissal of their coach, Vanessa Nygaard. Moreover, during a recent incident at the Dallas airport, Griner and her teammates were confronted by a provocateur, adding to the pressure she is currently experiencing.


Brittney Griner

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Support from the Mercury:

 The Phoenix Mercury has shown unwavering support for their star player’s decision to prioritize her mental health. The organization fully stands behind Griner’s choice and is committed to working with her to determine a suitable timeline for her return. Recognizing the significance of mental well-being in overall performance, the team’s decision reflects a growing awareness of the importance of mental health support in professional sports.

Physical Struggles:

In addition to the mental challenges, Griner has also been battling a hip issue, which has further added to the physical strain she faces while competing at an elite level. Combining this with the emotional and psychological burdens she carries, it’s clear that taking a break is essential for her overall recovery and long-term performance.

Moving Forward:

As the Phoenix Mercury faces the Chicago Sky and the Indiana Fever in their upcoming away games, the absence of their star center will undoubtedly be felt. However, it is crucial to remember that the well-being of athletes should always come first. By taking this proactive step to focus on her mental health, Brittney Griner is setting an example for not only her teammates but also the wider sports community.


Brittney Griner’s decision to take a break from the Phoenix Mercury to focus on her mental health is a testament to the growing recognition of the importance of athletes’ well-being. Her journey, marred by personal struggles and adversity, serves as a reminder that even the most talented and successful athletes face immense pressures. By supporting Griner’s decision, the Phoenix Mercury sets a positive precedent for mental health awareness in professional sports. As fans, we should extend our understanding and empathy, hoping for her swift return and continued success on and off the court.

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