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John Klein: Same-sex couples, domestic violence and the WNBA

John Klein: Same-sex couples, domestic violence and the WNBA

It will be interesting to see how the WNBA deals with what a booking report says was a “domestic violence offense” between Tulsa Shock player Glory Johnson and Phoenix Mercury player Brittney Griner.

The two had recently bought a house in Goodyear, Ariz., a suburb of Phoenix, and were engaged to be married next month.

Johnson and Griner were recently featured on the television series “Say Yes to the Dress”, a reality show on cable network TLC about picking out wedding dresses.

Johnson and Griner were both arrested on assault and disorderly conduct allegations on Wednesday.

How the WNBA deals with domestic violence, during an era of heightened awareness of the issue, will be closely watched.

Domestic violence, especially in the NFL and college football, has been grabbing headlines and forcing a serious national discussion of the issue in the past year.

Now, with Johnson and Griner, you have a women’s professional sports league that is confronted in an alleged domestic violence incident between a same-sex couple.

Welcome to the reality of professional sports in 2015.

The Shock, Mercury and WNBA all sent out similar statements on Thursday.

“We are in the process of gathering information at this time,” said Tulsa Shock President Steve Swetoha.

Actually, what is really happening is the WNBA is being forced to deal with an issue it probably did not anticipate.

Johnson is a role player for the Shock but Griner is one of the league’s superstars.

Griner, the former star at Baylor, was a key player in the WNBA Championship won by Phoenix and is an all-WNBA player.

Now, Griner and Johnson will be central to the discussion of domestic violence among same-sex couples and how sports leagues deal with the issue.

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