Russia Court Sentences Brittany Griner To Nine Years In Prison

Russia Court Sentences Brittany Griner To Nine Years In Prison

Russia Court Sentences Brittany Griner To Nine Years In Prison

Brittany Griner will spend 9 1/2 years in a Russian prison per the court’s ruling today.

A Russian court on Thursday found the American basketball star Brittney Griner guilty of an attempt to smuggle illegal narcotics into Russia and sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony, according to her lawyers. The verdict ended a closely watched trial that her supporters say made her a pawn in a tense geopolitical showdown over the war in Ukraine.

The verdict, virtually preordained in a legal system in which defendants are rarely acquitted, leaves Ms. Griner’s fate subject to diplomatic bargaining between Russia and the United States. The countries have been discussing the possibility of a prisoner exchange that would bring Ms. Griner home from Russia, where she has been detained since traveling there in mid-February.

Officials in Moscow have said that a verdict in her trial was a necessary precondition for a possible exchange for Ms. Griner, an Olympian who is one of the biggest stars of her generation. The United States has said she was wrongly detained, held by Russia as a bargaining chip amid the acrimony with the West over Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Let’s back up here and get some background. First, while Brittany Griner is an exceptional basketball player, her utter disdain (hatred really) for all that is America has turned a great many people away from her, myself included. She comes from a military family, yet has repeatedly refused to stand for our National Anthem. She has spoken out against law enforcement and more. Her attitude towards America, the country of her birth, is off-putting and atrocious. 

Fast forward to this spring when the news breaks that Brittany Griner is in a Russian jail. Why? Because she was in that country with pot in her possession. Pot or cannabis of ANY kind is illegal in Russia. Period

Oh, but she was ‘stress-packing’ which is why all of those cannibis containers ended up in her bag. 

Griner testified last week that she did not mean to leave the cartridges in her bag, but that she was in a hurry and was stressed after recovering from COVID-19 that month. The WNBA star said she was aware that the U.S. had warned Americans about traveling to Russia, but she didn’t want to let her team down in the playoffs.

She also testified that she has permission to use medical cannabis and used a certificate to buy it in the U.S. Earlier this month, one of Griner’s attorneys presented a letter from an American doctor in court, giving her permission to use cannabis to reduce chronic pain.

See that? Containers PLURAL. Let me tell you what stress-packing is. It is when you find out that a loved one is near death or has been in a major accident, and you are throwing anything and everything you could think of into your suitcase so you can get out the door in five minutes in a rush to get to their side. It ISN’T stressful to pack when it’s a planned trip to another country to continue playing with the Russian team. I could see if it is ONE cartridge that was stuck in a pocket, but multiple cartridges? Call me skeptical. 

That said, as she stated during her trial, she KNEW that pot of any kind was illegal in Russia. So why she thought a permission slip from an American doctor to use pot IN the U.S. would change the court’s mind is beyond me. 

Would things potentially be different if it was a famous NBA player such as LeBron James or Stephen Curry?

Quite honestly, I would hope that Russia would treat everyone the same regardless of their level of fame if they broke that country’s laws. However, the fact remains, Griner broke Russia’s law regarding illegal drugs. A law she was very well aware of. 

Needless to say, Brittany is reaping the consequences of her OWN actions. 

But some are saying she’s a political pawn now. Given the State Department’s asinine idea for a prisoner swap, that’s not too far-fetched. 

Swap Griner and Whelan for a convicted drug smuggler who operated around the world for decades before getting caught? How in the world would this be a good idea??!!

Biden has issued a statement. 

I honestly don’t have any sympathy for Brittany Griner. I cheered when Baylor won the national championship years ago when she was a junior. However, since then, her anti-American stance has turned me off. 

Is the sentence harsh? That’s for others to dissect and decide. Will the Biden Administration be able to diplomatically arrange a prisoner exchange? Given Putin’s utter hatred of the Biden Administration (whom he views as terribly weak because it is), the negotiations will take awhile. 

As for athletes who join teams around the world to play during the off-season to make extra money, this is a a lesson and a warning. 

Feature Photo Credit: Original artwork by Victory Girls Darleen Click

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  • GWB says:

    sentenced her to nine years in a penal colony
    A penal colony?! Is she going to Devil’s Island or Rura Pente?! Usually you just go to jail.

    an Olympian who is one of the biggest stars of her generation
    Ummmmmm, really? Like bigger than the purple-haired gal who plays soccer and loses to high school boys? Or is that setting the bar too high? This does not look good for “her generation”.

    The United States has said she was wrongly detained
    Oh, really? Because it was pretty clear she actually did what they accuse her of doing. And she admitted it.

    Her attitude towards America
    Is that of a spoiled, ungrateful brat looking for attention by rebelling against any and every thing she thinks mom and dad hold sacred.

    she was ‘stress-packing’
    And? It doesn’t stop the fact they were there. You don’t get excuses there. (And I wish you didn’t here.)

    Would things potentially be different if it was a famous NBA player such as LeBron James or Stephen Curry?
    The more important question is should it?

    But some are saying she’s a political pawn now.
    Duh. Which is one of the big reasons you give someone like the Russians zero reason to detain or arrest you.

    Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.
    Uh, no they are not, Chuckles. She did the crime. That she’s an American does not make her thereby innocent.

    Is the sentence harsh?
    Not compared to some places. Some places that conviction would set her back her head.

  • Chad King says:

    I’ll be looking forward to her tweets explaining why she won’t stand for the Russian national anthem–ought to be worth reading!

  • American Human says:

    Maybe they just want her to play for the Russian National women’s team?

  • dc says:

    Bet she wishes Trump was president now….
    she’d have a better shot at coming home.

  • Cameron says:

    And the lesson here, kids: The moment you leave the US, the protections and rights you take for granted don’t apply to you any more. The State Department travel advisories exist for a reason.

  • Big Balinese Wheel Money says:

    Self-important dumbass wins dumbass prize. How is this news?

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