American WNBA superstar Brittney Griner is apparently scared out of her mind about what the future holds for her. A report from The New York Times has revealed that Griner is “increasingly anxious” about the potential of serving a nine year prison sentence in Russia.
Who wouldn’t be? Russia is a pretty scary place all on its own, what with all of the strict laws in place for, well, just about everything. I can’t imagine what the conditions are like in the prison system. Yikes. They probably make our worst prison here look like a vacation resort.
The Western Journal said that Griner’s Russian attorney has indicated that the pro-basketball player, who is behind bars due to drug possession charges, is struggling.
“She has not been in as good condition as I could sometimes find her in,” Alexandr D. Boykov went on to say in an interview published Wednesday.
The WNBA star was taken into custody at an airport located in Moscow back in February with a small amount of hashish oil discovered in her luggage. Then, in August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony.
“Boykov claims that Griner fears the United States government won’t make a deal for Russian authorities to secure her freedom,” the Western Journal reported.
“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” Boykov went on to claim. “She is very worried about what the price of that [a prisoner exchange] will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”
As of this writing, Griner is serving her sentence at a penal colony just outside of the city of Moscow, but the Times is reporting that might not be where she ends up serving her full sentence. And it’s where they might send her next that has her terrified.
“Mr. Boykov said that the uncertainty over which type of prison Ms. Griner would end up in is a particular concern, as she fears it will be one with miserable or inhumane conditions,” the Times stated.
During an interview last week on CNN, President Joe Biden stated that he’s willing to negotiate for the release of the WNBA star, even if that requires a face-to-face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Western Journal made an excellent point in its article on this subject, noting the irony of how Griner publicly criticized the American justice system and is now essentially begging to be brought back to the country she slammed so often. On top of that, the article noted that here in the U.S., you aren’t likely to find a person serving nine years for bringing a small amount of marijuana through an airport.
“Griner went beyond merely kneeling for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ — the progressive athlete openly called for the WNBA to cease playing the national anthem in 2020, going so far as to announce that she would remain in her team’s locker room when the anthem was played, according to a July 2020 report in The Washington Post,” the WJ report said.
I bet hearing the National Anthem right now would be like hearing the bells of heaven to Griner’s ears. It’s easy to point out the flaws in our system of justice because, truthfully, there are many. However, though our system has a number of problems, it’s light years better than most others around the world. This is a point I bet the WNBA star realizes now that she’s had a taste of what it’s like in another part of the world.
But, regardless of how one might feel about Griner personally and her politics, that doesn’t change the fact that the justice system in Russia is a total farce. Many political figures who have challenged the policies of Putin have ended up serving long prison sentences for ridiculous charges. Like Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is facing 15 years behind bars on charges of a suspected poisoning.
Let’s hope that Griner is able to make it back home somehow and that she has a new found appreciation for the U.S. justice system.