By the Outlook’s Dave Schmidt
(7-7-22) WNBA star Britney Griner pleaded guilty Thursday to drug charges in a Russian court. She has been in Russian custody since February. But don’t be surprised that you will hear from numerous media sources that she did that to speed up the process of getting here back to the US,
- Why Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in Russian court, and what’s next for detained WNBA star
During today’s court hearing she said, according to Reuters. –
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law. I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”
Below are the actual comments from everyone involved. It started almost two years ago to the day about what is taking place.
Why some are not very sympathetic to what has happened to the WNBA star –
Griner in a video conference with sports writers on July 27th, 2020–
“I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season. I think we should take that much of a stand.”
“I’m going to protest regardless,. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long, I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.”
“I don’t mean that in any disrespect to our country. My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years. I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country.”
“I personally don’t think it belongs in sports. … Black people didn’t have rights at that point. It’s hard disrespecting a song that didn’t even represent all Americans when it was first made.”
“It’s not played at Walmart. It’s not played when you go to Six Flags. Why is it played before sporting events?”
Griner’s wife has been outspoken on the situation –
July 6, 2022 Brittney’s (2nd wife) Cherelle Griner’s on CBS News-
“I’m frustrated that 140 days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to me, to our family and to our friends. I’m frustrated that my wife is not going to get justice.”
“She is probably the strongest person that I know, so she doesn’t say words like that lightly. That means she truly is terrified that she may never see us again. You know, I share those same sentiments,”
“It blew my mind because I’m like large-scale? I live with B.G. every day, and so there’s no way possible. So I knew it wasn’t true the minute that I heard the charge because I know my wife. I’m like, no. It’s very unfortunate, you know, that she’s in this position because B.G. does not large-scale do anything in traffic of drugs. It was very very hard to hear that charge.”
“Initially I was told, you know, we are going to try to reserve, we’re going to try to handle this behind scenes and let’s not raise her value and you know stay quiet. You know, I did that and respectfully, we’re over 140 days at this point. That does not work. So I will not be quiet anymore. I will find that balance of, you know, harm versus help in pushing our government to do everything that’s possible because being quiet, they’re not moving, they’re not doing anything. So my wife is struggling, and we have to help her.”
Brittney Griner‘s letter to President Biden-
“I’m terrified I might be here forever. On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.“
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
“I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,”
Statement from the White House –
President Biden, joined by Vice President Harris, spoke today with Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner who is wrongfully detained in Russia under intolerable circumstances. The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other U.S. nationals who are wrongfully detained or held hostage in Russia and around the world. He also read her a draft of the letter the President is sending to Brittney today.
The President offered his support to Cherelle and Brittney’s family, and he committed to ensuring they are provided with all possible assistance while his administration pursues every avenue to bring Brittney home. Today’s call follows calls that National Security Advisor Sullivan and Secretary of State Blinken have had with Cherelle in recent weeks and this past weekend. The President directed his national security team to remain in regular contact with Cherelle and Brittney’s family, and with other families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, to keep them updated on efforts to secure the release of their loved ones as quickly as possible.
Russian President Putin is not going to be so fast to let Griner go, to this point there is not a positive relationship with the US since sanctions were put in place since the war in the Ukraine started.
Griner could be sentenced to 10 years in a Russian prison. Does she deserve help from the country who she disrespects and seems to think has treated her poorly, because she is the top woman’s basketball player, is it a racial situation, demeaning women situation …if she comes home how will she be? It could be a long time before she has a chance to return.