In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Johnson-Griner stated, “For [the WNBA] to release a statement saying that we were both guilty in the situation, it’s not right. It’s not correct.”
The article reported medical evidence showing that Griner was the aggressor in the incident. Johnson-Griner suffered head and spinal trauma while Griner suffered only minor scratches.
Just two days before the WNBA season tips off, Johnson-Griner still hasn’t been cleared to practice. Her objection to her suspension could be the reason why.
On May 15, the WNBA suspended Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson—two married all-stars for the Phoenix Mercury and Tulsa Shock, respectively—for seven games apiece, calling the behavior of both parties equally “unacceptable” in a statement. However, contrary to what was originally reported, evidence provided by Johnson’s attorney, Howard Snader, suggests that Johnson was the target rather than the perpetrator of the incident.
Many of the details of the incident remain murky, but in a medical evaluation conducted two days after Johnson was arrested—according to records provided by Johnson’s lawyer—Phoenix-based orthopedic doctor Thomas C. Fiel noted that Johnson had been struck twice “on the back of her head by a hard carrying case.” A CT scan corroborated that Johnson had experienced head trauma and suffered a concussion. The CT scan also found evidence of spinal trauma. Griner, according to the police report, suffered only minor scratches.
“If I’m being fought,” Johnson said during an exclusive interview with SI.com last Thursday. “I’m not just gonna sit back … there’s probably a better way to handle it. But at the time … you’re just thinking of protecting yourself and doing what you need to do to stand up for yourself.”
Despite having access to all of the legal and medical information, the WNBA still decided to punish both spouses equally.
“[The WNBA] definitely knew about it,” Johnson said, referring to her injuries and how they occurred. “And that’s another reason it surprised me that they came up with the same conclusion. I’m not going to throw Brittney under the bus … and she’s not going to throw me under the bus … [but] what the [WNBA] did not say in the statements they released was that I pled not guilty … So for them to release a statement saying that we were both guilty in the situation, it’s not right. It’s not correct … Brittney pled guilty … Brittney understands why I pled not guilty, and I understand why she pled guilty … she was even willing to speak to whoever she needed to, to get the point across.”