NEW YORK, Oct. 20, 2022 – Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner earned the Seasonlong WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm in recognition of her extensive work on behalf of women, those impacted by gun violence, the LGBTQ+ community and unhoused people.
Turner was previously named the June WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm® recipient this season.
Throughout the year Turner continued to use her platform to speak out on issues that are important to her, such as advocating for the safe return of her teammate Brittney Griner. She also continues to speak out against gun violence and for abortion rights. Turner volunteered to participate in BG’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive, distributing shoes and hygiene kits to unhoused people with Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Additionally, Turner is a board member for Equality Texas, a group that works to secure full equality for LGBTQ+ Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration. She also participated in the Mercury’s Pride Party and celebration in advance of the Mercury’s Pride Night game, highlighting her continued fight for equality and celebration of diversity.
“It’s an honor to win the 2022 Seasonlong Community Assist Award,” Turner said. “Our league plays a vital role in volunteering throughout our communities and advocating for those in need. I enjoy volunteering my time because I want to live in a more equitable society, but that can’t happen if we don’t all have access to equal rights. Regardless of one’s race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender expression, or class I hope to advocate on behalf of them, in pursuit of a more just society.”
Highlights of Turner’s efforts in the community are included below:
- Gun violence awareness: Turner was outspoken during postgame media availability (video) and on social media after the mass shooting in Uvalde in her home state of Texas, and she personally met with Moms Demand Action when they came to Phoenix to help raise awareness of gun violence during the Mercury’s June 3 game.
- Pride: Turner was a headliner and one of two players to appear at the Mercury’s Pride Party, a public celebration in advance of the Mercury’s Pride Night game on June 10.
- BG: Turner has been a steadfast and consistent voice advocating for Brittney Griner’s safe return, including representing her teammates and the Phoenix Mercury organization by speaking about how important it is to bring BG home during the Mercury’s Bring BG Home Rally at Footprint Center on July 6 (clip, full video).
- BG’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive: In addition, Turner has been an active participant in BG’s Heart & Sole Shoe Drive. Turner volunteered in all three of the shoe distributions the Mercury conducted with Phoenix Rescue Mission. For the first distribution, Turner volunteered to help distribute shoes, water and hygiene kits to unhoused people in Phoenix’s Sunnyslope neighborhood June 28 with Phoenix Rescue Mission. She also spoke with ESPN to bring more awareness to BG’s cause and the shoe drive and volunteered again at similar distribution events on July 19 and Aug. 8.
- Right to choose: Turner passionately defended the right to choose (video) in postgame media availability as well as pregame walk-ins.
- Walk-in statements: Turner used pregame walk-in photos as opportunities to showcase her stances on gun violence, The ACLU/The War on Drugs, bodily autonomy, trans people belonging and saving the planet.
- Voting/voter registration: Turner has spoken out on social media about the importance of registering and voting in elections.
The WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm is awarded monthly during the season to the player who best reflects the WNBA’s passion to make a difference in the community. In recognition of Turner’s commitment to her community, the WNBA and State Farm will donate $20,000 to be split among charities of Turner’s choice: Equality Texas (for which she is a board member), Athlete Ally (for which she is an ambassador), and Billy’s Place (which she learned about from a Mercury fan after a home game this summer).
Please visit wnba.com/statefarmcommunityassist/ for more information on the award and its recipients.
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