Brittney Griner's return to WNBA could change how league handles flights

By Greg Hahne
Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 12:42pm
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 2:48pm

Brittney Griner
Nicole Vasquez/Cronkite News
Brittney Griner

Free agents can sign with teams in the WNBA on Wednesday. Phoenix Mercury star and Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is expected to sign with the team again.

Travel safety has been a key concern after the star spent nearly a year in Russian custody.

If Griner needs special travel accommodations, such as chartered flights, the league will have to come up with a plan. 

The current collective bargaining agreement requires that all teams fly commercial and doesn’t allow for charter flights. 

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert has acknowledged Griner’s unique situation. She said the right time to comment will be when Griner officially signs with the team.

If a team were to violate the current agreement, it could be fined. The league fined the New York Liberty $500,000 after chartering away game flights in 2021.