WNBA Star Brittany Griner continues imprisonment in Russia


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Brittany Griner, a star player on the Phoenix Mercury of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), filed an appeal August 4 against charges of drug possession. October 25, the appeal to reduce the sentence was not granted. Griner celebrated her 32 birthday in prison amidst the situation and will continue to serve the full sentence. 

Griner was arrested February 17, 2022 at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Russia for illegal possession of cannabis oil which was detected in her vape. Griner was supposed to participate in the WNBA offseason games before the arrest took place. 

Since being taken under custody, Griner has been detained for almost 10 months and is facing up to 9 years in prison after the appeal to lessen the sentence was denied. However, Griner has recently got in contact with U.S Embassy Officials to help release her from the Russian prison system. 

Since her appeal was denied, the U.S. government has discussed potentially exchanging Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, for Griner. 

Griner’s family and spouse have since spoken out about the situation. Wife Cherelle Griner spoke at the Glamour Women of The Year Awards. 

I’ve spent the last eight months riding waves of grief and, to be honest, just total disbelief, I can’t believe that I’m standing in front of you guys today, living without my favorite person, my greatest love, biggest support and just sanctuary,” Cherelle Griner said. 

Cherelle has spoken in the past with President Joe Biden regarding the safety of her wife , with the President assuring her  that they are doing all they can to release her.