The WNBA suspended Phoenix Mercury All-Star center Brittney Griner and Tulsa Shock forward Glory Johnson seven games each without pay for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the league, it announced Friday.
Griner, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2013 WNBA draft, and Johnson were arrested last month after police were called to their residence in response to a fight between the pair. Griner told authorities the two had been dealing with the stress of recently buying a house together and planning their upcoming wedding. They were married on May 8 in Phoenix.
Griner entered into a diversion agreement after pleading guilty to disorderly conduct and will attend 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling. The charges will be dropped upon completion of counseling. Johnson's case is pending after being transferred to a county court.
WNBA president Laurel J. Richie said both players will be required to attend individual sessions with a counselor that is satisfactory to the league and called their behavior "unacceptable" for failing to abide by the league’s standards of conduct.
"We also understand that people make mistakes, and that education and training are as important as imposing discipline," Richie said in a statement. "If either player fails to comply with this condition or any of the conditions imposed by the court, we reserve the right to revisit this matter."
Griner averaged 15.6 points, eight rebounds and 3.8 blocks per game last season and was named the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year and earned first-team All-WNBA honors.
Phoenix, the defending WNBA champion, starts its seasons June 5 against San Antonio. Griner is eligible to return against the Minnesota Lynx on June 27.
Johnson and the Shock start their season the same day against the Lynx, with Johnson eligible to return in a June 26 game against the New York Liberty.
- Scooby Axson