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The league spent the last few weeks investigating. The WNBA said Johnson pushed Griner in the shoulder and she responded by pushing her in the back of the neck. The confrontation escalated to include wrestling, punches, and the throwing and swinging of objects. The 6-foot-8 Griner received a bite wound on her finger and scratches on her wrist; the 6-4 Johnson received a scratch above her lip and was diagnosed with a concussion.
The Mercury open their season on June 5 against San Antonio. If Griner doesn’t appeal, she will be eligible to return against Minnesota on June 27.
“We do not condone violence of any kind and we understand the need for discipline in serious matters,” said Jim Pitman, the Mercury general manager and executive vice president. “Brittney is committed to growing from this experience, and we will make every effort to support her in that endeavor.”
Phoenix will play Johnson’s Shock on July 2. Johnson’s first game back would be June 26 against New York.
“We appreciate the league’s due diligence in investigating and making a decision in this matter,” Shock President Steve Swetoha said in a statement. “As an organization we strongly agree with President Richie’s statement that there is no place for violence in our league, in our communities, or in society.”
Article continues belowThe WNBA said it will conduct education sessions on domestic violence and related issues with all players and team personnel throughout the season.
The previous longest suspension was six games, given to Kara Braxton in 2009 after her second DUI.
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