View Full Version : Brittney Griner, Glory Johnson and the WNBA’s domestic violence problem

05-12-2015, 05:24 PM
A sports star is embroiled in a high-profile domestic violence incident. The star is widely condemned — perhaps suspended, perhaps prosecuted. And there are calls for reform.

Or, in the case of the Women’s National Basketball Association: not. After two engaged WNBA stars — Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner and the Tulsa Shock’s Glory Johnson — were arrested after a domestic dispute Wednesday, some are asking why the WNBA has not been scrutinized as closely as the NFL, the NBA and other professional sports leagues for what may be an endemic problem.

“Intimate partner violence among LGBT couples is also a huge problem that gets considerably less attention,” Jamilah King of Take Part wrote in a piece called “Women Pro Athletes Have a Domestic Violence Problem Too.” “. . . Last summer, they announced their engagement on Instagram. But as the details of this week’s ordeal emerge, the couple also shows that intimate partner violence within same-sex relationships is a problem that must be confronted.”

Of course, one can’t equate domestic violence in the WNBA with domestic violence in men’s professional sports. Last year, ESPN counted 48 players “considered guilty of domestic violence under league policy” in the NFL since 2000, and Bleacher Report noted nine NBA players charged with domestic assault in the past three years. Even the most creative Googling for “WNBA domestic assault” won’t return numbers like these.

Still, the league is not immune from the problem. Though WNBA players in legal trouble are not covered as closely as male pro athletes in similar jams, there were reports that Jantel Lavender of the Los Angeles Sparks was hit with a restraining order by her ex-boyfriend in 2011 after a fight; that former WNBA player Deanna “Tweety” Nolan was arrested for allegedly assaulting her wife in 2012; and in 2013, former WNBA player Chamique Holdsclaw pleaded guilty to assault after her girlfriend, another WNBA player, reported Holdsclaw shot at her SUV.


05-12-2015, 05:25 PM
Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson suspended.

WNBA domestic abuse cases...full throated crickets from the very same people that spend HOURS of TV and radio time and newspaper column inches railing againt the other three.

05-13-2015, 01:32 AM
The big dirty secret of the GLBT community is just how much domestic violence occurs in same sex couples.

Comparing Domestic Abuse in Same Sex and Heterosexual Relationships
November 2006
Initial report from a study funded by the Economic & Social Research Council, Award No. RES-000-23-0650

"This report outlines initial findings from the most detailed UK research on same sex domestic abuse and first study in the UK to directly compare domestic abuse in same sex and heterosexual relationships. The research sought to increase knowledge and understanding of domestic abuse in same sex relationships and experiences of help-seeking via the criminal justice system and other agencies....

....In the survey, more than a third of respondents (38.4%, 266/692) said that they had experienced domestic abuse at some time in a same sex relationship. This included 40.1% (169/421) of the female and 35.2% (94/258) of the male respondents5. Echoing this, individuals identifying as lesbian, gay women, or queer were most likely to say that they had experienced domestic abuse...."

(On page two of the study, the researchers acknowledge that previous hard data on domestic abuse against women in heterosexual relationships indicates that such abuse occurs only in 25% (one quarter) of heterosexual relationships. It seems that both men and women are safer in heterosexual relationships than in homosexual relationships.)