Brittney Griner just learned her fate in Russia. The WNBA star has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on charges of smuggling drugs into the country. Before the sentencing, Griner gave an emotional speech about how she "inadvertently" brought cannabis oil to Russia and asked the court for leniency.
When the sentencing was announced President Joe Biden released a statement. "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney," he said, per PEOPLE. "It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates. My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible."
Griner was arrested at a Russian airport in February and has been detained ever since. The Biden administration reportedly offered to swap Griner and American Paul Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. Along with being sentenced to prison, Griner was fined 1 million rubles which is equivalent to $16,600. Here's a look at what social media has to say about Griner's sentencing.
9.5 years?! 9.5 years 💔 BG, we love you. Dk what else to say. We love you. FREE BRITTNEY GRINER.— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) August 4, 2022
One person wrote: "Her first offense. Admitted guilt. In the US she would get a slap on the wrist. There, she is losing maybe 10-15% of her life."prevnext
BREAKING: Brittney Griner sentenced to 9 years by Russian court.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) August 4, 2022
Daunting but expected sentence. Effectively closes 1st chapter in her detainment and moves her fate to the diplomatic world. Real length of detention will be however long it takes to reach deal between US & Russia.
Hey Putin – give us back Brittney Griner and we'll give you back Trump.— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) July 27, 2022
One social media user replied: "And we'll throw in Steve Bannon and Gym Jordan for good luck. Will be willing to include Ted Cruz if that's what it takes."prevnext
Brittney Griner gonna need this guy to get her out of Russia pic.twitter.com/Tvj1RbZoGq— Trey the lifelong HAAS fan (@Juggalo_trey5) August 4, 2022
SHE IS A HUMAN. She is a Black queer woman. She is a loved one—a wife, sister, mother, friend, teammate. She matters. She is Brittney Griner. And we love her.— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) August 4, 2022
One person argued: "She broke the law, period. Why did she have to bring drugs while visiting another country? She should have respected their rules. Furthermore what does race or being queer or an athlete have to do with it? Get a free out of jail card?"prevnext
It’s interesting seeing Americans refuse to be sympathetic to Brittney Griner on the grounds that she “should’ve known better” when most Americans have little to no idea how their criminal system works or punishes n often end up SHOCKED by the legal consequences of their actions— Olayemi Olurin (@msolurin) August 4, 2022
One person replied: "The 'should have known better' crowd is also shocked that storming the capitol had consequences and believe Ashli Babbitt did nothing wrong."prevnext
This whole case has been absurd. Free Brittney Griner, for real https://t.co/lnJfezLpQR— Ivie Ani (@ivieani) August 4, 2022
And one person wrote: "Brittney Griner getting 9 years in prison is the perfect reminder to all Americans why it's important to not take for granted what we have in this country. I'm pretty sure her opinion of our anthem and flag has changed."prev