Women Pro Athletes Have a Domestic Violence Problem Too

The basketball stars’ bad night sheds spotlight on an issue that’s seldom discussed.
Brittney Griner (right) with her fiancée, Glory Johnson. (Photo: Brittney Griner/Instagram)
Apr 23, 2015· 0 MIN READ
Jamilah King is a TakePart staff writer covering the intersection of race/ethnicity, poverty, gender, and sexuality.

There’s sad news out of Arizona, where WNBA players Brittney Griner and her fiancée, Glory Johnson, were arrested. Late Wednesday afternoon, law enforcement authorites were apparently called to a home in a Phoenix suburb. Griner and Johnson, who both had physical injuries, were swiftly arrested and charged with suspicion of assault and disorderly conduct, according to the Arizona Republic. Early this morning, Johnson, who plays for the Tulsa Shock, was released from police custody. Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, was also released.

With high-profile incidents caught on tape, such as former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice’s knockout blow to his then-fiancée, domestic violence among NFL and NBA players is increasingly in the spotlight. But intimate partner violence among LGBT couples is also a huge problem that gets considerably less attention. People of color make up the majority of LGBT intimate partner violence survivors, according to a report from the Anti-Violence Project, a New York–based advocacy group. What’s more, young people between the ages of 19 and 29 make up nearly 37 percent of survivors of intimate partner violence. Transgender and undocumented immigrants are several times more likely to face intimate partner violence, according to the report.

Griner and Johnson have been quite public about their relationship. 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.