Brittney Griner, one of the most misunderstood figures, is deeply patriotic.
Her father was a Vietnam War veteran and a sheriff’s officer in Texas. Before she discovered basketball, Griner aspired to follow in his footsteps. When asked to play for Team USA, she was honored to represent her country.
Despite being incarcerated in Russia, Griner’s thoughts were about her country and whether she would ever have the chance to wear the U.S. jersey again.
Griner’s emotional return with Team USA was something she cherished, and she’s eagerly anticipating the upcoming Paris Olympics.
Despite her sincerity and pride in playing for Team USA, Griner faces criticism from those who question her love for her country because of her protests during the national anthem in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, highlighting the racism in the country. She has defended her actions, expressing her desire to stand and show pride for her country after experiencing captivity in Russia.
Furthermore, her detainment in Russia was not of her own doing, but rather a political maneuver. Despite the misunderstandings and criticisms, Griner has remained grateful and dedicated to bring awareness to the issue of wrongfully detained Americans.
Griner’s service to her country may be different than what she initially envisioned, but representing her country in any capacity holds tremendous value. She has been part of winning teams at the Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo Olympics, and she remains committed to representing all Americans, despite differing views.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on social media @nrarmour.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Brittney Griner is a proud American. Don’t let critics say differently
Rachel Adams is your WNBA insider, delivering comprehensive coverage of women’s basketball. With a commitment to highlighting the talent and achievements of WNBA players, she provides game analysis, player profiles, and inspiring stories from the league.