The Phoenix Mercury participant has been detained in Russia since mid-February, when authorities mentioned they discovered cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag. She was convicted of drug possession and drug smuggling and sentenced to 9 years in jail on Thursday. The decision comes after america provided to commerce jailed Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout with Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan.
US President Joe Biden known as the ruling “unacceptable,” as did Rep. Cori Bush, a Democrat representing elements of St. Louis, Missouri.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, joined Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, in berating Russia for holding her again.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver known as the decision “unjustified and unlucky, however not sudden” in a joint assertion. “Brittney Griner stays unfairly detained. The dedication of the WNBA and the NBA to his secure return has not wavered and it’s our hope that we’re near the tip of this course of to lastly carry BG house to america. “
Others who reacted to the information included the WNBA Gamers Affiliation, which posted a thread praising Griner as each an individual and an athlete. “Given his document of service on and off the pitch, BG undoubtedly deserves compassion and mercy,” the union mentioned. “She deserves to go house.”
Different WNBA gamers have additionally talked concerning the ruling.
Arike Ogunbowale, a Dallas Wings guard, had beforehand mirrored on taking part in abroad in Russia, which many WNBA gamers do to complement their salaries.
“I am unable to simply play with folks’s lives like that,” Ogunbowale tweeted Thursday. “Sick.”
In a Twitter thread, Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas mentioned the star “is getting used as a political pawn”. She urged Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to carry each Griner and Whelan again to america.
“This can be a time of compassion and a shared understanding that concluding a deal to carry Individuals house shall be troublesome, however it’s pressing and the correct factor to do,” Colas mentioned.
Actor Mia Farrow and Bravo producer Andy Cohen additionally affirmed their assist for Griner, as did singer Justin Bieber, who reposted an ESPN Instagram publish in his Tales. CNN host Expensive Champion known as the phrase “anticipated however nonetheless HORRIBLE”.
ESPN host Mina Kimes rejected some individuals who mentioned the sentence was justified.
“That is horrible, as are most of the solutions … folks’s brains are so poisoned by the politicization of this story that they’ve overpassed the truth that this can be a human being whose future is in peril,” mentioned Kimes. “Wonderful throughout.”
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