Houston native and WNBA star Brittney Griner and her fiance Glory Johnson were arrested on Wednesday during an apparent domestic dispute, less than two weeks after Griner was honored in Houston for being an LGBT role model.
The two WNBA players, both 24 – engaged in August and to be married next month – now face charges of assault and disorderly conduct after the alleged scuffle in their home outside Phoenix on Wednesday. They were released from jail at 4 a.m. on Thursday.
Griner plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, and led the team to a championship last September. Johnson is on the Tulsa Shock.
Griner told police that she and Johnson had been arguing every day and got into each other's faces Wednesday afternoon in the home they had bought two days earlier after Johnson said Griner “disrespected” her, according to a police report.
Johnson told police Griner had gotten too close, so she pushed her back to get some separation and began talking to her sister, Judy Johnson, when she was pushed in the back of the head by Griner. Glory Johnson turned around and the physical altercation began, with both fighting on the floor for 4 to 6 minutes. The entire episode lasted about 20 minutes, according to the report.
Griner had a laceration on her right wrist and a tooth mark on the middle finger of her right hand after it ended up in Johnson's mouth, according to the police report.
Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, had a cut on her lip and Julio Trejo, a friend of Griner's, had a cut on his neck after trying to break up the fight. All three declined medical attention.
Griner also said she broke a dog bowl after throwing it against a wall during the argument.
Griner, a gay Houston favorite for all these reasons and more, served as honorary captain for the Houston Dash when the women's soccer club opened its home schedule earlier this month. The next night, April 11, Griner and Johnson (photo) enjoyed the HRC Houston 18th Annual Gala as Griner received HRC's Visibility Award. During her acceptance speech, Griner discussed being a role model for young LGBT people.
“Today as an out, lesbian, black woman, I am here and I am committed to being that voice for those that are still silent for whatever the reason may be,” Griner said (watch video below). “I am here and am committed to be that voice, to speak out, so you can have a voice to look up to.”
Griner was also recently named to Out magazine's annual Out Power 50, one of two lesbians on the list with Houston ties. The other was Mayor Annise Parker, who praised Griner during the HRC dinner.
“I've been doing this work for 40 years,” Parker said. “I attended my first political organizing event for the GLBT community in 1975. I've been doing it for a very long time. Frankly, a Ty Herndon and a Britney Griner, I never would have dreamed it but it makes those 40 years all worth while.”
On Tuesday, a day before the couple's arrest, Griner called Johnson her queen and her rock in an Instagram post.