As WNBA star Brittney Griner made her way through a Dallas airport, a white man walked up on her spewing patriotic rhetoric. In a video clip shared on social media, YouTube personality Alex Stein is recorded allegedly ambushing the 6-foot-9 women’s basketball player with questions about her stance on the United States.
“Do you still wanna boycott America, Brittney?” Stein yelled.
A man intervenes and attempts to block Stein from the harassment but fails miserably. He asks Stein “why are you doing this?” and tells him several times to “stop.” Stein refuses and at one point someone calls him “weird.”
The clip posted on The Shade Room Instagram profile shows Stein telling the man “Get off me,” and being physically and verbally aggressive, pushing himself into what appears to be Griner’s personal space.
“I’m weird? She hates America,” the agitator said.
“What about the merchant of death, Brit?”
Though Griner is not visible in the video, the encounter gives the impression that despite being a high profile athlete for the WNBA, she is an unprotected Black woman. The incident leaves open to question the concerns around safety and security for women players in the league.
Griner’s Phoenix, Mercury teammate Breanna Turner tweeted her concerns and added context to the account:
“Player safety while traveling should be at the forefront. People following with cameras saying wild remarks is never acceptable. Excessive harassment. Our team nervously huddled in a corner unsure how to move about. We demand better.”
Player safety while traveling should be at the forefront. People following with cameras saying wild remarks is never acceptable. Excessive harassment. Our team nervously huddled in a corner unsure how to move about. We demand better.
— Brianna Turner (@_Breezy_Briii) June 10, 2023
Stein, apparently, not one to go away quietly, found his way to Turner’s post to respond to hers and other social media users’ comments.
The WNBA issued a statement via Twitter, calling the occurrence and Stein’s actions both “inappropriate and unfortunate.”
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 10, 2023
The statement read that “The safety of Brittney and All WNBA players are top priority,” and that preseason arrangements around Griner’s safety had been addressed “to ensure her safety during her travel, which included charter flights for WNBA games and assigned security personnel with her at all times.”
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