Brittney Griner made her return to the WNBA after being detained in Russia for 10 months with her team the Phoenix Mercury last Friday. Though the Mercury were beaten by the Sparks 94-71, BG finished the game with six rebounds, four blocks, and 18 points. But what made her return extra special was a surprise visit from none other than Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.
Harris and Emhoff visited with BG and her wife Cherelle before the game started. Harris shared her admiration for Griner. “Even before all that happened, BG, you led with courage, and while it was happening, you showed such poise and dignity and grace,” she said.
Harris said Griner has inspired many after overcoming overwhelming adversity. She told Griner that “learning that nothing is going to knock you down is good. That’s really good stuff.”
After the one-on-one visit, Harris and Emhoff joined the Mercury in the locker room.
“I came here to talk to the team to congratulate you on exhibiting excellence in every way,” Harris announced to the players.
“You are some of the finest athletes in the world, and to do what you do every day shows that it is right to have ambition,” she said. “It is right to have aspirations. It is right to work hard. It is right to compete when you know you have put everything into it; when you have trained, when you have discipline, when you have intelligence, and when you have brilliance.”
She added, “It makes me so proud as Vice President of the United States to go around the world talking to folks about a variety of issues, and one of the subjects that does come up is the WNBA. [The world] is watching what you guys are doing, lifting up the excellence of the finest athletes in the world.”
After her visit, Harris tweeted about her experience.
Great time at the game tonight cheering on the @LASparks and @PhoenixMercury as we celebrated @BrittneyGriner's return to the court.
Her grace, courage, and determination are an inspiration to all. pic.twitter.com/0fTx952IWj
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) May 20, 2023
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