Phoenix Mercury fans show love, support at first home game since Griner’s sentencing

Fans flocked to Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix to show their support for the team and Brittney Griner following the conviction this week.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 10:18 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Phoenix Mercury hosted its first game back in the Valley since Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison for having less than a gram of cannabis oil on her. The team has gone the whole season without the all-star. It’s a void players and fans continue to feel as the race to the playoffs heats up.

“I feel so sad for her family as well. We’re her family here and we want her back home and I wish we could do something more to bring her back home. I wish the administration would do something,” said Becky Green.

She isn’t just a fan of the Phoenix Mercury, she is a supporter of the team’s center Brittney Griner. She even prides herself in sharing initials. “I want BG back. I’m a BG, I want my other BG back too!” said Green.

Griner’s story has resonated with so many fans. Christopher Owens bought over 6,000 upper deck tickets for next weekend’s game to support Griner and her team. “Making sure the attention is staying where it needs to be on bg. Letting her know we’re with her, letting Cheryl know we love them and we support them,” Owens said. “Letting the team know we have their back is necessary right now.”

He plans to give away some of the tickets to youth organizations in the community. “We currently have 14 youth groups that we’re sponsoring, we want to take 42,” Green said. Forty-two to honor Griner and her number on the Mercury team. During Saturday’s game, fans like Hannah Dunigan wore pins. “She’s the heart and soul of the team. She has a big heart in general. And she’s an amazing person and doesn’t deserve what’s being put through,” Dunigan said.