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  • Writer's pictureDominic Konareski

A More In Depth Look At Brittney Griner's Imprisonment And Release

Brittney Griner wanted the National Anthem removed before the start of sport games, she then went to play in a Russian basketball league during the WNBA offseason during the height of the Russian-Ukrainian tensions, which then led to a war. While arriving in Russia, Griner was searched by airport security to which they then found cannabis in a vape cartage. Cannabis is illegal in Russia and Griner was sentenced to a 9-year prison stay.

Overall a 9-year prison sentence may seem harsh in America’s terms, but it is actually normal in Russia. Griner violated Article 299 (2)(c) of the Russian criminal code - it carries a minimum sentence of five to 10-years.

After the conviction Griner was sent to a Russian prison camp where she spent several months until her release. The United States partook in a high-profile prison swap with Russia, marking the highest swap since the Cold War era. The U.S. traded arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is nicknamed ‘The Merchant of Death’ and is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Bout armed the Middle East and African Wars, he was 11-years in on what was a 25-year prison sentence in America for conspiring to kill Americans along with other terrorist charges.

Bout was released in exchange for Griner, both are now in their respective countries.

The United States released a 55-year old Russian terrorist who will most likely go and help Russia in the Russo-Ukrainian War. Vladimir Putin has been trying to get Bout released for years, and now he has finally done it. The U.S. continues to supply Ukraine with weapons to fight Russia and now they have released a notorious arms dealer who will help supply Russia’s side in the war.

Meanwhile an ex-United States Marine under the name of Paul Whelan has been in a Russian prison for the last four-years, currently serving a 16-year sentence.

After all of that Griner is back to practicing basketball in a t-shirt supporting Title IX and wearing Chuck Taylor sneakers, it was her first time playing basketball in about 10-months.. Overall the upbeat WNBA star has said her plans on a possible return or retirement in the basketball world. Nevertheless her life has forever changed from a security standpoint alone.

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