Brittney Griner, as most everyone now knows, is the WNBA player that, while in America, refused to appear on court for the national anthem following the death of George Floyd and resulting BLM “fiery but mostly peaceful protests.”
She also “accidentally” smuggled her hash oil-filled vape device into the Russian Federation and got caught. And while America might be getting softer and softer on drugs, the Russians aren’t. They don’t have medical marijuana, soft-on-drug crime judges, or merciful attitudes towards those like Griner who break their laws and expect to get away with it because they can dribble a bouncy ball better than most.
And so Griner was locked up, having to pay a fine of a million rubles and remain in prison for nearly a decade (9 years)…plenty of time with which she can avoid the American national anthem that she thought was so horrible while an athlete here.
That sentencing came after she pleaded guilty, saying “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.”
She also apologized to the other parties impacted by her behavior, saying “I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home. I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling it doesn’t end my life here.”
But it’s apparently gotten worse. According to her wife (yes, Griner is also a lesbian), Griner faces being sent to a Russian labor camp if she loses her appeal.
That came when the wife, Cherelle, spoke to CBS Mornings’ Gayle King about Griner’s situation. Watch that here:
As you can hear in the video, Cherelle said that Griner is a “hostage,” saying:
“On its face, it just seems like my wife is a hostage. To know that our government and a foreign government is sitting down and negotiating for her release — she’s a hostage.”
Others might just say that she got caught smuggling hash…
In any case, it wasn’t all Cherrelle had to say. She also said that Griner’s sentence was disproportionate, saying:
“I work in the legal field. I do believe a crime should warrant a punishment. But it must be balanced. It must be balanced. And that, it tears me to pieces to see that this is not balanced for my wife right now. So I want people to see that. To see the fact that like has she suffered enough. BG has truly suffered beyond her crime already.”
She added that her phone calls with Griner depressed her, saying:
“The second phone call, the minute I hung up I think I cried for about two, three days straight. I did not get out of my bed. It was the most disturbing phone call I’d ever experience, and I’ve known BG 11 years. That was like the most disturbing conversation.”
“It was her. You could hear it. You could hear that she was not okay. If you think just about a person’s suffering and when they have suffered to a max, like you could hear that she was at the max that day. And I’m like, ‘God!’”
“And there was nothing that I could do, you know. So I’m sitting there and I’m just like — it was like 30 seconds to 2 minutes of range, of her just sitting on phone just literally in tears, just crying. And it’s just the most still, I think, moment I’ve just ever shared with my wife. I didn’t have words. Because at that point I’m like I don’t know if she has anything left in the tank to continue to wake up everyday and be in a place where she has no one.”
And that’s when Cherelle got to the bit about the labor camp Griner could be sent to, saying:
“The reality of the situation is that once that hearing is held and the order is finalized, BG is now in the position where she could be moved to a labor camp. And my brain can’t even fathom it.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova recently blasted the idea that Griner is a political hostage, reminding people that Griner was caught with hashish oil and pointing to the FBI raid on MAr-a-Lago, saying:
“Let me remind you, Griner was smuggling cartridges of liquid for smoking, which contained hashish oil. The basketball player herself admitted this, since there was no point in denying it.”
“At the same time, the White House refuses to comment on the investigation around Trump and the seizure of certain documents related to the White House from him. Complete silence, although we are talking about American justice and law enforcement.”