Another user wrote, “The Arizona Republic just awarded Brittney Griner their ‘Arizonian of the Year’ award. The award had previously gone to people like late hero Pat Tillman. What a mess we are in….”

“Brittney Griner just won the Pat Tillman award….. one left the NFL to go defend the country and the other got locked up abroad for breaking the law. #GreatChoice,” read another critical tweet. Just as an FYI, it’s not called the Pat Tillman award, but they can’t let facts get in the way of fake outrage.


First of all, let’s not pretend like any of these people are concerned about Pat Tillman’s legacy. Have they also had issues with the multiple politicians, volunteer groups, philanthropic foundations and OSIRIS-REx space mission, all of whom have been recognized with the award since Tillman won in 2004? Are we saying that former honorees Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), former governor Doug Ducey and late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) are all on equal standing with Tillman’s heroics?


This is about conservatives being upset that a queer Black woman has received the honor. This is also part of their continued efforts to use her release as a way to attack President Biden. Despite the fact that the White House and State Department have made it abundantly clear that Russia was completely unwilling to discuss the release of former Marine Paul Whelan, they’re still upset that Griner was brought home while he remains imprisoned in Russia.

If the point of the honor is to recognize the Arizonan who was the biggest “newsmaker” of the year and someone who galvanized the community to come together to support them, then this seems like a no-brainer. No disrespect, but we’re not talking about the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe you can all relax and focus on your state’s real problems. Hasn’t Brittney Griner spent enough time being used as a political pawn?