Brittney Griner, the Phoenix Mercury center, will miss at least two games to focus on her mental health, the team announced on Saturday. Griner will not travel with the team on its upcoming two-game road trip to Chicago and Indiana (July 30-August 1). The Mercury fully supports Brittney and will continue to work together on a timeline for her return.
Mental Health in Sports
Griner is the latest high-profile athlete to prioritize mental health. In recent years, Black women at the top of their disciplines have helped drive the conversation about mental health as a key and shame-free component of human health. Tennis phenom Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open in 2021 after her pleas to skip media interviews in the name of her mental health were rebuffed by tournament officials. Superstar gymnast Simone Biles also withdrew from several events at the Tokyo Olympics, citing mental health as the reason.
Mental health is an important issue that affects everyone, including athletes. It is encouraging to see high-profile athletes like Brittney Griner taking steps to prioritize their mental health and well-being. The support shown by the Phoenix Mercury is also commendable and sets a positive example for other teams and organizations.