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'A symbol of hope': Brittney Griner's return resonates far beyond the court

May 27, 2023

PHOENIX — Sarah Douida traveled more than 5,000 miles from Paris with her partner to sit in the rafters at Footprint Center and watch Brittney Griner’s 2023 home debut in person. During warmups, they sit a few rows up from the court and marvel at the Phoenix Mercury center each time she comes around. Doudia is so excited, she forgets her own age. Lea Sourribes, her girlfriend of five years, can only laugh at the mind melt.

“In the WNBA there [are] a lot of queer symbols that we don’t have in France,” Sourribes told Yahoo Sports. “So it’s really important. They’re like a model for us [that] we don’t really have.”

Douida, 31, and Sourribes, 24, were among the hundreds, even thousands, of people in the arena on Sunday afternoon for something bigger than watching a historically successful team’s home opener. Even bigger than watching the talented post go to work in a way only she can. Griner’s safe return to the United States in a prisoner swap after being declared by the U.S. government as wrongfully detained in Russia for nearly 10 months is bigger than the elevated status American society bestows on professional athletes.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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