On Thursday, August 15, the two WNBA stars became engaged.
Griner shared the picture on Instagram: dropping to one knee and presenting the engagement ring and offering a shared future. A nervous grin graced her face while holding the ring box and pink bow tie stark against the black her. Her hair pushed back, the momentous moment's very clear.
Next to the picture, she shared bubbling happiness with social media. "Last Night was a Night to Remember I became the happiest person on this earth! (almost pass out but when that one word came out I came back to life) Me and my baby @missvol25 are in it for Life!"
And the Shock forward shared her own joy the morning after. In an Instagram post, the newly engaged player showed a sleeping Griner with the diamond ring on top. "What I get to wake up to @brittneygriner #LoveMakesYouDoTheCraziestThings." Clearly the two are deeply in love and united.
Griner's part of the Phoenix Mercury team while Johnson plays with the Tulsa Shock in the WNBA. At 6’8”, the All-American might be intimidating on the court, but there’s probably a chance her 6’3” rival won’t be impressed. Should be an interesting match up with a married couple playing against one another in the same league for the first time.
And will historically establish that being gay doesn’t diminish a player’s ability. Competitive people usually don’t lose that edge based on a ring. Individually, the two have worked hard for their awards and accomplishments. A lot of sacrificing for career.
Bustle notes that 23-year-old has "become somewhat of a poster-girl for lesbian athletes, ever since she came out last year." In her memoir last year, In My Skin, the basketball player documented the homophobia experienced while playing college ball at Baylor University.
Opening up to People magazine, the author recalled an incident where the college coach policed what was said to the public. School ball might have been harsh on her media presentation but clearly Nike didn’t care and stood behind the player—making her the first openly gay player to ink a deal.
So the sheer joy and happiness of the engagement offers a different kind of trailblazing outside the court. Even though she's "just trying to help out" and to "make it where it’s not as tough for the next generation," Griner and Johnson may encourage others to look beyond societal expectations and simply follow hearts.