In April, 2013, basketball player Brittney Griner made headlines not just for her phenomenal talent (she was the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA draft) but because she also came out as gay.
Her announcement was huge given that the WNBA had previously been criticised for the way that it encouraged gay players to be quiet about their sexualities for fears of the league being branded as ‘for lesbians only’. Griner also became the first openly gay athlete to be endorsed by Nike.
The star athlete made headlines again in August 2014 when she announced her engagement to fellow WNBA player Glory Johnson.
The two appeared to be a happy couple and they even appeared on the Atlanta edition of reality TV show Say Yes to the Dress which details the (sometimes extravagant) lengths that couples will go to to put together the perfect wedding.
But things turned sour just weeks before Griner and Johnson were set to marry. Following an altercation between the two at their Arizona home, the two women were arrested for domestic violence, with the police report stating that the violence had been “mutual”.
Whether mutual or not, it did result in a debate about same-sex domestic violence, a topic which is rarely spoken about in the media. But this debate was short-lived as the pair proceeded to get married anyway and once more, people began to fawn over their nuptials.
However, just 28 days later, and Griner filed for an annulment of the marriage. Speaking to ESPN, Griner explained that although she did take part in counselling following April’s domestic violence charge, she tried to postpone the wedding several times and that ultimately it was a mistake. She also admitted that she “shouldn’t have went through with it”.
But for Johnson, the filing came as a shock as she released a statement saying that she “still loves and cares for Brittney” and that she was “hurt and blindsided” by the announcement. Just days before the annulment was announced, Johnson had revealed that she was pregnant and on Instagram she posted a photo of Griner (apparently lovingly) kissing her stomach.
With so much going on, it’s unclear if the pair will reconcile or if Griner will continue the counselling that she began prior to the wedding. But for readers in a similar situation, Community United Against Violence (CUAV) and the Los Angeles LGBT Center have more information on what to do.