WNBA’s Brittney Griner being held in Russia
Seven-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner is being held in Russian custody, in line with a report from the New York Times on Saturday morning.
Griner was allegedly attempting to journey with cannabis oil in her baggage, a typical vape cartridge comprised of hashish, whereas at a Moscow airport final month, thus being detained in Russia amid its invasion and struggle with Ukraine. Based on sports activities journalist Kate Fagan, Griner has been in custody for round three weeks.
Griner’s arrest occurred after a search of her luggage uncovered the cartridges. The cost might carry a most sentence of 10 years in jail, all to loosen up with a little bit ganja. Russia’s customs service recognized the particular person arrested with the oil as an American feminine basketball participant, however didn’t reveal Griner’s identification and didn’t specify the date of her arrest. Her agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, neither denied nor confirmed the experiences of the previous Baylor standout being arrested.
“We’re conscious of the state of affairs with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in shut contact together with her, her authorized illustration in Russia, her household, her groups, and the WNBA and NBA,” Kagawa Colas advised the Related Press on Saturday. “As that is an ongoing authorized matter, we’re not in a position to remark additional on the specifics of her case however can verify that as we work to get her residence, her psychological and bodily well being stay our main concern.”
Griner, a high-profile American abroad throughout a time of heightened worldwide pressure, might be seen as a pawn within the Russian invasion of Ukraine, opposed by the U.S. and NATO.
Griner has spent her worldwide profession in Russia since 2014, enjoying for UMMC Ekaterinburg, incomes over $1 million per season. That’s greater than quadruple her yearly WNBA salary. Griner final performed for UMMC Ekaterinburg on Jan. 29.
The WNBA confirmed to the Related Press that Griner is the lone league participant nonetheless in Russia or Ukraine of the greater than a dozen who spend the offseason enjoying professionally in these nations. Different notable gamers who apply their commerce in Japanese Europe are reigning league MVP Jonquel Jones, Courtney Vandersloot, and Allie Quigley.
“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full help and our foremost precedence is her swift and protected return to the USA,” the league stated in an announcement to the AP.
On Saturday, the State Division issued a “do not travel” advisory for Russia resulting from its invasion of Ukraine, stating that every one U.S. residents ought to depart the nation instantly, for causes together with “the potential for harassment in opposition to U.S. residents by Russian authorities safety officers” and “the Embassy’s restricted skill to help” Americans presently in Russia. The 2022 WNBA season is slated to begin Might 6.