New York– At Current Affairs Times WNBA player Britney Griner has been sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison. Griner was convicted of smuggling drugs into Russia. The player was arrested for bringing vape cartridges containing less than a gram of cannabis with her when she flew to Moscow. For many, the news is a complete shock; Griner as well as her attorney has high hopes that she would get leniency from the court. Unfortunately, Griner received the max sentence from (name of the judge) and was fined (number of rubles).
Many people view the sentence to be incredibly harsh. The U.S. recently provided Ukraine a 60 million dollar relief package, declaring their support to the world. Now that Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has a u.S. WNBA player in his grip, he may be reluctant to let her go. Prior to her sentencing, Griner referenced the political ties her case may have.
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put the Russian population in jeopardy. I never meant to break any laws here,” Griner said. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that your ruling that doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawns and politics, but I hope that is far from this courtroom.
Video footage is now circling showing Griner’s reaction to the sentencing. For the most part, she remained stoic but her close friends and family state that the news was a blow to her spirit. Griner’s former teammates are also devastated by the outcome.
Mercury guard Diamond DeShields was very candid with reporters as she shared how the entire team was feeling after the outcome.
“Nobody even wanted to play today,” said DeShields. “This is our sister. It’s a human being and it’s our real-life friend and real-life sister. And I don’t expect everybody to give a damn. But we really do.”
Next Steps Moving Forward
Unfortunately, the future is looking very bleak for Griner. Experts say that she will eventually go to a penal colony where she will serve her time. But what exactly, is a penal colony? According to Britannica, a penal colony is a distant or overseas settlement established for punishing criminals with forced labor and complete isolation from society. It’s an ignoble end, for a former WNBA player, literally the height of her career.
Griner’s lawyers state that they will be appealing the case. The Biden administration remains in her corner and stated they will continue to fight to have both her released and returned home.
The White House has already extended an olive branch with a big proposal to Russia to free Griner and another American, former Marine Paul Whelan. Reports say that the U.S. would be willing to exchange convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, currently in a prison in Illinois.
“Nothing about today’s decision changes our determination that Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained, and we will continue working to bring Brittney and fellow wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan home. This is an absolute priority of mine and the Department’s.”
Thumbnail Credits: Getty Images
- Brittney Griner: WNBA star sentenced to 9 years in a Russian jail for drug-smuggling – CNN
- Brittney Griner’s teammates speak out about her “devastating” 9-year sentence in Russia:
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