Outrage pours in after WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to nine years in Russian prison on drug charges

Aug 4 2022, 9:36 pm

WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges by a Russian court, and people are outraged.

Russian judge Anna Sotnikova told a court in Khimki, a town just outside of Moscow, that the court found Griner guilty of smuggling and possessing “a significant amount of narcotics,” reported Al Jazeera.

The Phoenix Mercury player was also fined one million rubles, which is about CND$20,900.

US President Joe Biden called the verdict “unacceptable” in a statement on Thursday.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” stated Biden.

“My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also condemned the verdict.

“Today’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unfortunate, but not unexpected and Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained,” they said in a statement.

“The WNBA and NBA’s commitment to her safe return has not wavered and it is our hope that we are near the end of this process of finally bringing BG home to the United States.”

The two-time Olympic gold medallist was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on February 17 for entering the country with less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.

Recreational and medicinal cannabis is illegal in Russia.

Griner told the court on Thursday that it was an “honest mistake” and that she “never intended to break Russian law,” according to Al Jazeera.

As officials shared their statements, fans also expressed their anger on social media.

“Free Brittney Griner that sh*t is outrageous,” one Twitter user put simply.

“Anyone who can look at Brittney on the screen and not see the humanity and severity of this situation is sick,” tweeted another person. “BRING HER [THE F**K] HOME.”

Others pointed out that Griner’s a pawn in Russia’s diplomatic game with the US.

“This isn’t a real court with a real sentence, this is just the Russian government deciding what provides them with the most leverage,” tweeted one person.

There are also a lot of people who think the basketball player deserves the sentence.

But many say these reactions are rooted in racism.

Others pointed out how the same kinds of sentences are seen for non-violent crimes in America.

To end on a lighter note (if there can be for a serious situation like this), one comedian has an interesting proposition.

“Hey Putin – give us back Brittney Griner and we’ll give you back Trump.”

National Trending StaffNational Trending Staff

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