Bring Home Brittney
Basketball superstar Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for 130 days, it is well past time to bring home Brittney.
130 days, 3120 hours, 187,200 minutes since Brittney Griner’s last taste of freedom. 130 days since she last hugged her wife, Cherelle Griner.
On February 17, Griner was arrested at the Moscow airport for carrying cannabis oil in her luggage. She was also accused of smuggling small amounts of narcotics. If convicted of this offense, she can face up to 10 years in a Russian prison. Russia is notoriously hard on drugs, so it could be possible that Griner could face some time behind bars.
Why is Griner even in Russia?
Like some NBA players, WNBA players like Brittney Griner play overseas to supplement their salaries. Unfortunately, WNBA players do not make nearly as much as their male counterparts. In Russia, according to the NY Times, Brittney is making approximately $1 million, 4x the amount she was making in her max salary during her time with the WNBA. Sadly, Griner was in Russia shortly after the country started attacking Ukraine.
America’s Attempts to Free Griner
According to Brittney’s wife, Cherelle, POTUS and his staff have made no attempts to help. Cherelle told, “CNN on Thursday she wants US officials to do whatever they have to do to bring the basketball legend home — and she needs to see them do more.” Cherelle and Brittney attempted to call each other for their anniversary, however after a dozen failed attempts, the couple soon were informed that the US Embassy didn’t have anyone staffed. “I was distraught. I was hurt.
I was done, fed up,” Cherelle Griner told The Associated Press in an interview, recounting how an anniversary she had eagerly anticipated was instead spent in tears. “I’m pretty sure I texted BG’s agent and was like: ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody. It’s going to take me a minute to get my emotions together, and just tell everybody I’m unavailable right now.’ Because it just knocked me out. I wasn’t well, I’m still not well.”
The State Department has stated that they are working actively on this matter. “Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained, unjustly detained and we have made that clear as an official determination of the US government. Second, the Russian government should release her and allow her to be returned and reunited with her family and come home safe and sound,” Jack Sullivan, US National security advisor, said.
What Cherelle Griner and many Americans would love to bring home Brittney, and free her from the shackles of Russia. However, if she is sentenced, hopefully, the time she will serve will be minimal and can be completed back in America.
Potentially there could be a prisoner swap, Griner for Victor Bout. Victor Bout or known to some as the “ Merchant of Death” is a notorious Russian arms dealer. Bout is serving time in America “for conspiring to sell weapons to parties with alleged plans to kill Americans, according to a report from the New York Times.” Americans urge the Biden administration for the immediate and safe return of Brittney Griner
As her trial begins July 1, we wish nothing but good luck to Griner and her family.