Brittney Griner Fights For Her Life | The WNBA Star Goes To Trial In Russia On Friday

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Media and fans got a fresh look at Brittney Griner appearing in a Russian court to receive a criminal trial date. The date is set for Friday, where she will face trial for attempted drug smuggling charges.

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Griner’s court date is set for July 1, and if convicted she can face up to 10 years, and to make matters worse, per The Associated Press, fewer than 1% of Russian criminal cases end in acquittal.

Griner and her legal team have a tough battle ahead of them, and if it doesn’t work out for her, the 31-year old Phoenix Mercury star may not be able to come back to America until she finishes her bid. 

Griner was detained back in February at a Russian airport while trying to return to America around the time Russia invaded Ukraine. She had cannabis oil cartridges in her luggage, and Russia has very strict drug laws. The WNBA legend was detained at the airport and imprisoned. After months of unsuccessful attempts to get her released into US custody, she now stands accused of attempting to smuggling a “significant” amount of a narcotic substance into Russia. 

 

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While she has been putting up with life in a Russian prison, there has been a multitude of people fighting at home for her freedom, including friends, family and teammates.

Griner has also received help from high-ranking politicians, including President Joe Biden, who has been in negotiations with Russia for a prisoner swap of notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Boutas. That hardly seems like an even exchange, but if Griner’s release is a priority the U.S. might have to end up with some egg on its face with this one. 

CNN details the different organizations that have banded together to assist in bringing Griner home, and has even mentioned how Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner’s wife, is also networking and seeking the assistance of different political figures to help free Griner. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Cherelle last week in a one-on-one, and she revealed that she hasn’t spoken to her wife Brittney since February 17th when she was detained and arrested.

Blinken is just as dedicated as Cherelle in getting Brittney Griner home. He addressed CNN’s “State of the Union” at the Group of Seven Summit and spoke on his job and how he is dedicated to bringing any illegally detained people home.

 

“I’ve got no higher priority than making sure that Americans who are being illegally detained in one way or another around the world come home,” Blinken said 

“That includes Paul Whelan, that includes Brittney Griner, that includes people in a number of other countries,” he added.

Griner’s family, friends, and fans are patiently awaiting her return to the U.S., and even WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert has said that the WNBA is teaming up with the Phoenix Mercury to do everything they can to help bring Griner home. 

This has been a stressful four months for the basketball world, and America. Hopefully, we can find a positive and peaceful resolution to one of our most talented athletes’ dilemmas. On Friday Griner will go to trial and fight for her freedom, and the U.S. will have her back.