Griner return, free agency could spark charter flight change

FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) drives past Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker (3) during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA basketball Finals, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. Brittney Griner's return to the WNBA this summer after being traded in a dramatic prisoner swap in December with Russia has collided with free agency, creating potential travel complications for the league out of safety concerns for her.( AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

Brittney Griner's return to the WNBA this summer after being traded in a dramatic prisoner swap in December with Russia has collided with free agency, creating potential travel complications for the league out of safety concerns for her.

If Griner, who is a free agent but has said she'll return to Phoenix, needs special travel accommodations - such as chartered flights - the league will have to come up with a plan for the 6-foot-9 star. Griner's safety when traveling will be a top priority for her team and the league.

"We are very cognizant of BG's unique situation," WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert told The Associated Press. "We've been planning and we've been thinking it through with security experts, BG's side, our side. We'll find the right time to comment on it when she signs with a team."

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