“Is it true that you had to sleep with Vladimir Putin? : airport heckler mocks Brittney Griner and asks if her release from Russian prison ‘was a fair trade for the merchant of death?’ »
- Brittney Griner was heckled by YouTuber Alex Stein in Dallas on Saturday
- The Phoenix Mercury has now confirmed it will be making ‘travel adjustments’
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
A DFW airport heckler asked Brittney Griner if she ‘had to have sex with Vladimir Putin’ to secure his release from Russia following his drug trafficking conviction last year.
The WNBA star spent nearly 10 months locked up in Mordovia, before being brought back to America in a controversial prisoner swap with Viktor Bout – commonly known as ‘The Dealer of Death’.
The reaction from the American public was not overwhelmingly positive after Griner’s return, given her previous comments about boycotting the national anthem – only to reverse her opinion when she returned after her imprisonment in Russia.
This led to conservative YouTuber Alex Stein filming Griner at the Dallas airport and attempting to ask him questions, which was met with silence from the WNBA star.
In the full clip, released on Sunday, Stein can be heard saying, “Was it fair trade for the merchant of death?” I know you kill him on the pitch, but he kills him in real life.
Brittney Griner was asked if she had sex with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday
Griner was heckled at Dallas airport as she and her teammates headed for their plane
Griner was back on the court Sunday as the Phoenix Mercury beat the Indiana Fever
“Is it true that you had to sleep with Vladimir Putin to get released from Russia?” British? And his wife ?
The incident led Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard to confirm that the team will be making travel adjustments for upcoming road games to avoid similar situations in the future.
Although she declined to reveal any further details about the change in their travel plans, Nygaard cited security concerns.
The coach didn’t like what happened at the airport as the Mercurys left Dallas for Sunday’s road game against the Indiana Fever.
“No one should be subject to targeted harassment,” Nygaard said before the game. “I am grateful that our team and staff are physically OK.
“Most of all, I’m grateful that BG has been back here in the United States for 185 days now. If the fact that she’s home is driving some people crazy, I think that obviously says more about them than it does about her.
The Mercury travel party was eventually escorted to a room in the airport to get away from the rowdiness.
“It’s obviously nothing that anyone wants to deal with, especially on a business trip for work,” Phoenix center Brianna Turner said. “We represent the league, we represent the city of Phoenix, our organization and at times like this we don’t want to cause a big scene.
Griner is pictured running her bag through a scanner after being approached by a sniffer dog at Moscow airport in February 2022
Griner spent nearly 10 months in a Russian penal colony for drug trafficking last year
She was involved in a high-profile prisoner swap with ‘merchant of death’ Viktor Bout (above)
“We don’t like to throw phones or say certain things. I guess the lesson is you live and learn, but I don’t know what you will do if it happens again.
While the WNBA said it was working to keep Griner and all players safe, the players’ union said Saturday the league needs to do a better job of providing charter flights.
New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart, who is a member of the union’s executive committee, is all for Griner flying the way she wants.
“I think, you know, there needs to be extra precautionary measures and you know, I don’t think anyone is against BG having charter flights when they want to, so they can be herself and travel and be comfortable and be safe,” Stewart said. “Because that’s the last thing we want is what happened yesterday.”
Griner scored 29 points as the Mercury won an 85-82 win over the Fever on Sunday.