Who is Brittney Griner, the basketball star sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia | World

Brittney Griner is 2.06 meters tall and weighs 93 kilograms. He wears a measurement 51 shoe (US 17), and his arms are barely wider than American basketball star LeBron James.

Had Griner not entered the skilled ladies’s basketball league (WNBA) at age 22, he would have adopted in his father’s footsteps and turn out to be a police officer.

It’s your “mannequin”, as you have mentioned in the previous.

Now, a Russian court docket has sentenced him to 9 years in prison on “drug” expenses.

Griner, 31, was arrested at an airport in the Russian capital final February after customs brokers discovered e-cigarette liquid in his baggage containing hashish oil, which is unlawful in Russia and is mentioned to be used medicinally by athletes.

The Olympic winner has been in prison since, pleading responsible to drug-related expenses to cut back his sentence, though he mentioned he had no intention of breaking the legislation.

The US says he is “wrongfully detained” and has requested the Kremlin to launch him in a prisoner trade, nevertheless it is not recognized if they’ve acquired a response to that proposal.

Griner, recognized to Phoenix Mercury followers as BG and regarded the greatest offensive participant in ladies’s skilled basketball in the United States, received her first recreation as quickly as she entered the WNBA.

Griner was the first American feminine skilled basketball participant to come out as homosexual (Image: Getty Images through BBC)

He was the first participant in the league who dared to publicly say he was homosexual, no matter the penalties that disclosure may carry.

“Before Greene, there was the shadow of the league, which (the follow) required ‘do not say homosexual,'” defined sports activities columnist Tamryn Spruill.

“He mentioned, ‘What the hell, that is me.'”

This feat made her the first overtly homosexual athlete (female and male) to be sponsored by the sports activities firm Nike after being chosen first in the WNBA’s draft spherical.

At the age of 31, Griner received two Olympic gold medals, the American Women’s Basketball League Most Valuable Player title, and the WNBA and Euroleague championships.

A local of Houston, Texas, he received a basketball scholarship to Baylor University, the place he led the group to a nationwide championship.

The basketball star was arrested in February – Photo: Getty Images through BBC

However, Griner has now been sentenced to 9 years in prison for touring with hashish oil for e-cigarettes to Russia, the place he performed in the Euroleague with UMMC Yekaterinburg, throughout the US low season.

Griner did what different WNBA teammates did: she performed abroad to enhance her revenue. In Russia, he received 5 occasions greater than in the United States.

“Wage inequality in the United States has led to the unjust imprisonment of Brittney Griner in Russia, the place she is getting used as a political pawn,” explains the portal WeAreBG, a marketing campaign organized by different athletes of the National Women’s Basketball Association.

After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the Euroleague suspended all Russian groups, and the United States and the WNBA started recalling gamers.

When the athlete was about to be picked up on a airplane again to the United States, a canine from the Russian Federal Customs Service inspected his cabin baggage, and authorities discovered e-cigarette liquids with hashish oil.

A month later, the sports activities star pleaded responsible to drug-related expenses, though he mentioned he had no intention of breaking the legislation.

During the months of detention, Cherelle Watson, the athlete’s spouse and 28-year-old lawyer, mentioned that Russian authorities denied her consular entry and communication with household and associates.

A Russian court docket just lately sentenced him to 9 years in prison on “drug-related” expenses and to pay a positive of 1 million rubles ($16,300).

In addition, in accordance to the decide, he should serve in a penal colony.

WNBA followers defended her launch (Photo: Getty Images through BBC)

US President Joe Biden known as Griner’s conviction “unacceptable” and known as for his quick launch.

“Today, US citizen Brittney Griner was sentenced to prison, an additional reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” he mentioned in a press release.

Days earlier than the sentencing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced that the Biden administration had made a “important” prisoner trade supply to Russia to safe the return of Griner and ex-Marine Paul Whelan.

“As I sit right here in a Russian prison, alone with my ideas and with out the safety of my spouse, household, associates, Olympic jerseys or any achievements, I’m afraid to keep right here eternally,” he wrote in a letter to Biden. from prison in July.

American media reported that the Moscow authorities was in exchanging the convicted basketball star for Russian arms vendor Viktor Bout.

However, the conviction modified the panorama.

For now, Griner’s legal professionals have indicated that they may enchantment the choice, after criticizing the Russian court docket for the athlete’s “full rejection of all proof of the protection and, extra importantly, of guilt”, in the hope of receiving a lightweight sentence.

Upon studying of the sentence, Lindsay Kagawa, Colas Griner’s agent, wrote on Twitter:

“This is a time of compassion and shared understanding that it is going to be tough to make a deal to carry Americans dwelling, nevertheless it is pressing and the proper factor to do.”



Russia has sentenced American basketball participant Brittney Griner to 9 years in prison

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