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Elvia Díaz: Why Brittney Griner stood for the national anthem in her first game back

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Monday, May 22, 2023 - 11:45am
Updated: Monday, May 22, 2023 - 11:55am

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Brittney Griner press conference
John Cascella/Cronkite News
A teary eyed Brittney Griner addresses questions from the media on April 27, 2023, her first press conference since she was released from a Russian prison following a prisoner exchange.

The Show regularly checks in with the Arizona Republic editorial board to talk about current issues facing the state and the region — featured in columns on the newspaper’s op-ed pages.

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s name today makes us all think of Russia — where she spent 10 months behind bars after being convicted in a Russian court for bringing cannabis oil into the country.

But before she became known for being “wrongfully detained” — as the U.S. government called it — by a U.S. adversary, Griner had been known for her legendary career on the court and had made headlines as recently as 2020 for protesting the national anthem in the name of Black Lives Matter before each game.

Now back on the court, she has appeared alongside her teammates during the national anthem. The move has some wondering if she “learned her lesson,” but, Arizona Republic Columnist E.J. Montini says her seeming flip-flop on the national anthem is perfectly American.

For more, The Show spoke to Elvia Díaz, editorial page editor for the Republic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Brittney Griner’s first name.

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