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Added May 19th, 2015 by Ian
NBA

WNBA newlyweds hit with seven-game suspensions

A bit of an odd story out of America where two WNBA women’s basketball players married each other and have now been handed record suspensions for domestic violence against each other. The two women. Glory Johnson and Brittney Griner, become newlyweds back on May 8 when they exchanged wedding vows at a resort in Phoenix, Arizona with 75 guests in attendance. However, the pair of all-star players were both arrested and charged with domestic violence at their home just a few weeks before they were married.

Griner attended court and came to some kind of agreement with the prosecution and was sentenced to 26 weeks of counseling for disorderly conduct. The municipal court agreed to drop the assault charges if she completes the course. She released a statement to the media after the bust and said, “It is never OK for an argument to turn physical. This will never happen again, and I take my relationship and my responsibility as a role model seriously. I am committed to making positive changes and I plan to use what I have learned to set a good example and help make a difference in the world around me.”

Griner currently plays for the Phoenix Mercury. But the two will now have to sit out a league record seven-game ban which the WNBA handed down on May 15 for their arrests. The longest suspension previously in the history of the 19-year-old basketball league was six games in a 34-game season. That was handed to Kara Braxton back in 2009 after she was charged with a second drinking and driving offence.

Laurel Richie, the president of the WNBA, stated that all violent acts are taken very seriously by the league and the women’s actions were deemed as unacceptable. Richie claimed that Johnson and Griner’s conduct was detrimental to the league and it violated applicable law. She added that people make mistakes though and it’s important that they receive training and education on the matter of domestic violence.

Richie talked to NBA commissioner Adam Silver and several other legal and sports experts before deciding on the length of the players’ suspension. The WNBA clubs open training camp on May 18 with the season scheduled to tip off on June 5th. The league said both players need to take individual counseling and if either of them fails to show up they could be handed stiffer bans. Griner and Johnson were arrested April 22 after they got into a fight at their newly-purchased home. Johnson’s case hasn’t been heard yet by county court.

The WNBA investigated aged the incident and reported that the 6-foot-8-inch Griner and the 6-foot-4-inch Johnson got into a physical confrontation which included throwing punches, wrestling, the throwing objects at each other. When it was said and done Griner’s finger was bitten, both women had scratches on their bodies and Johnson also received a concussion.

 
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