Brittney Griner is a 31-year-old WNBA Phoenix Mercury player, who has won many championships with both the Russian league team and the WNBA team. On February 17, 2022, Brittney Griner was wrongfully detained in Russia. She was found guilty of carrying hashish oil in her luggage and ever since has been fighting for her freedom.
On this week’s episode of “Street Politicians,” hosted by Tamika D. Mallory and Mysonne “The General,” they talked with Griner’s closest friend and “sister” Jinelle Roy to provide an update on Brittney’s return to the states. She began by discussing the unjust way the Russian government handled the situation and the helplessness she feels when thinking of Griner. As of today, she has still not been able to have any verbal communication with Griner, but has received written letters from Brittney that the Russian government allows to be sent out. Shortly after Griner’s detention, WNBA players that were in Russia with her were asked to leave the country to avoid any further “potential harassment” from the Russian government.
Griner has been unfairly detained and according to Jinelle Roys, “She was there because she had a job to do, not because she wanted to be there.” The logistics of this situation and the clear double standard women face in society needs to be brought to light. Griner’s voice should not have to be silenced out of fear for her life. She should not have to spend up to 10 years in prison for a crime the U.S. State Department has determined to be a wrongful accusation. A bigger fight should be made for her, if this were someone like Stephen Curry a lot more outrage would have been expressed.
On July 7th, 2022, Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in Russia. In court Griner stated, “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law.” Her next court hearing is on July 14th where Griner will be able to give her testimony.
We can now only hope she will be shown mercy, “Battling a man’s world,” as Jinelle Roy stated on Street Politicians, isn’t easy. A lot of undeserved and wrongful actions are going to keep taking place if we don’t DO something. Doing is a powerful source that we as people have been given the privilege of having. Instead of just knowing and feeling bad about this unreasonable case, find ways you can support Griner’s family and friends, and find ways you can support Griner herself. There may not be much we can do right now, but any action counts towards working for Griner’s release. Be louder. Make a sound. And most importantly, don’t forget.