WNBA announces player suspensions for altercation in Wings-Mercury game

NEW YORK – Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner and Dallas Wings forwards Kristine Anigwe and Kayla Thornton have been suspended for their involvement in an altercation during Saturday’s game at Talking Stick Resort Arena, it was announced today by Bethany Donaphin, Head of WNBA League Operations.  The incident occurred with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Wings’ 80-77 victory over the Mercury.

Griner received a three-game suspension for throwing punches, escalating the incident, and pushing Thornton’s face with an open hand.

Anigwe was suspended for two games for instigating the initial altercation and for taking an open-handed swing at Griner.  Thornton also received a two-game suspension for her role in escalating the altercation.

Griner will begin serving her suspension on Wednesday (Aug. 14) when Phoenix hosts the Connecticut Sun.  Anigwe will begin serving her suspension on Wednesday (Aug. 14) when Dallas hosts the Los Angeles Sparks.  Thornton will serve her suspension starting on Wednesday (Aug. 14).

As part of the same incident, Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi and Dallas forward Kaela Davis will be suspended one game plus a $500 fine for leaving the bench area during the altercation and directly engaging with the opposing team.  Taurasi is currently injured and will serve her suspension during the first game after she is medically cleared to play.  Davis will not serve her suspension until Sunday (August 18) when Dallas visits Connecticut due to existing injuries to Tayler Hill and Azura Stevens and the rule requiring teams to have a minimum of eight players dressed for all games.  Additionally, Phoenix forward DeWanna Bonner was fined $500 for escalating the incident.