WNBA suspends lesbians for 7 games

This is a story you don’t see everyday, and let’s hope it becomes even less frequent. Domestic violence is no joke, nor is violence in general, but when it involves a same sex couple, we’re not exactly sure how to respond.

Last month, Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson and her lesbian partner Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury were arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct. According to police and WNBA investigations, the two had been involved in an altercation at their home in Goodyear, Arizona, on April 22.

Two weeks later the couple was wed in a ceremony at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort in Phoenix. The WNBA has now sent a belated wedding gift – a seven game suspension for each player.

“The WNBA takes all acts of violence extremely seriously,” said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie, in a statement released last week. “It is our strong belief that violence has absolutely no place in society, in sports or in this league. As president, it is my responsibility to protect the league and uphold its values. Our athletes represent the WNBA, and they all must abide by the league’s standards of conduct. In this case, Brittney and Glory failed to do so, and that is unacceptable.”

The statement outlines that the league did its own investigation into the matter to determine the facts, and it goes on to describe the altercation to have included “wrestling, punches, and the throwing and swinging of various objects.”

Both players received minor injuries; cuts and bruises, in the fracas and Johnson was diagnosed with a concussion.

“We appreciate the league’s due diligence in investigating and making a decision in this matter,” said Tulsa Shock President Steve Swetoha in a statement released to the media. “As an organization we strongly agree with President Richie’s statement that there is no place for violence in our league, in our communities, or in society. We will continue to care for Glory’s well-being and look forward to her being in camp with our team.”

The bottom line is there’s no place for violence within a home or any relationship. Whether we’re talking about juiced up baseball players, aggressive NFL stars, PGA Tour professionals, or WNBA partners. Knocking around one’s spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend should never be tolerated or acceptable.

SHOCK OPEN CAMP

Training camp for the Shock opened this past Sunday at Edison High School, and there are a total of 16 players on the team’s camp roster. Head Coach Fred Williams is entering his second season at the helm of the Shock.

Included on the training camp roster are 10 returning players from the 2014 season: Odyssey Sims, Glory Johnson, Riquna Williams, Skylar Diggins, Courtney Paris, Angel Goodrich, Tiffany Jackson-Jones, Jordan Hooper, Theresa Plaisance, and Vicki Baugh.  Former Shock players Karima Christmas and Plenette Pierson return to Tulsa as well.

Also in camp is the Shock’s first round draft pick Amanda Zahui B from Minnesota, second round draft pick Brianna Kiesel from Pittsburgh, and third round draft pick Mimi Mungedi from Nevada (Reno). The lone free agent in camp is Jessica Kuster from Rice.

The roster will be trimmed to 12 players on or before June 3, prior to the Shock opening the season on the road in Minnesota on June 5. The team’s home opener will be the following night, June 6, against Chicago, 7 p.m. at the BOK Center.

BIG 12 BASEBALL

ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, is hosting the Big 12 Baseball Tournament this week. The tournament began Wednesday with round-robin play, which continues through Saturday. The Championship game will be played Sunday at noon and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1.