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brittney47. “Brittney Griner is 23 years old, 6 feet 8 inches tall and one of the best female basketball players in the world. She was the WNBA top draft pick last year, and in college she set records for the most blocked shots in a season and the most career blocks in history — for male and female players. She’s so good that the owner of a men’s team — the Dallas Mavericks — has said he’d recruit her.”

Taller than a man. Faster than a man. Better than a man. That’s what butches are made of.

6. “She plays with a kind of emancipated abandon,” he says, and he admires her openness about the sexism and homophobia she’s encountered in the not-particularly-progressive world of college athletics.

Emancipated abandon. What else does she do with emancipated abandon, one wonders. One wonders and one shivers.

5. “Now she’s made it something of a mission to address closet culture in women’s sports.”

Brittney Griner cleaves through shadows and secrets with a hammer of flame and righteousness. She wears a breastplate of truth, and a girdle of strength, and a helmet of integrity, and she is arm’d so strong in honesty that your threats pass by her as th’ idle wind, which she respects not.

“I had a girl come up and tell me how her coach basically told them that they could not be gay on their team,” she says. “And I’ve heard stories of some coaches will not recruit you if you are.”


brittney24. “When Nike endorsed her as its first openly gay athlete, the company asked her to model its menswear line.”

Brittney Griner in Oxford wingtips. Brittney Griner in form-fitting white suits. Brittney Griner in bowties, but it’s not pretentious or affected when she does it, somehow. Brittney Griner in those lightweight zip-up sweaters that are cut kind of square but wouldn’t look square on her, not at all, with the sleeves that fall just a little bit past the wrist.

She is poor. Poor and perfect. With eyes like the sea after a storm. She can track a falcon on a cloudy day.

Brittney Griner and I are joined by the bonds of true love. And you cannot track that, not with a thousand bloodhounds. And you cannot break that, not with a thousand swords.

“What I’m looking for in a woman is a blogger, someone who sits a lot, and just wants to watch Futurama episodes together and let me reenact all of Wesley’s scenes from The Princess Bride while she stays in her bathrobe all afternoon,” Griner probably continued. “Someone who will come to the gym and watch me bench press weights until all the veins in my forearms pop out, but won’t actually participate in any working out herself.”

3.”She dresses like a 1920s male dandy,” Zirin marvels. “And it’s pretty amazing to see. I don’t know anybody who pulls off argyle socks quite like Brittney Griner.”

*whispers weakly* a 1920s male dandy

2. “Griner is taller than 99 percent of the American population.”

*slides bonelessly to the floor*

1. “Now I want to stand out,” she says. “I want to show off how big I am; I want to show off my long arms, my big hands — just loving myself.”

She pauses, then adds: “It’s just a place of peace.”

Arms — hands — woman — guhhhhhhnnhhnhnh —

Mallory Ortberg was co-editor of The Toast from 2013-2014. She will be deeply missed.

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