Free Brittney Griner!

By Rian J.

Brittney Griner is 31 years old and a three-time All-American in college who now plays for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. Brittney Griner played college basketball for the Baylor Lady Bears in Waco, Texas. 10 years ago she became the first NCAA basketball player to both score 2,000 points and block 500 shots. In the WNBA, she has averaged 17.7 points per game, 7.6 rebounds a game, 2.8 blocks a game in her career. Brittney Griner has also won two Olympic Gold Medals and has had an endorsement deal with Nike since 2013. And now she is an inmate in a Russian prison .

Brittney Griner was in Russia to play because she needed to make some more money. WNBA players are not being paid enough in the regular season so they make extra money playing overseas. While going back to the United States, the Russian Federal Customs Service claimed to have found vape cartridges containing the marijuana concentrate hashish oil in Griner’s luggage.  Her wife said on Good Morning America that they were texting at 2:00 AM and Brittney Griner was very nervous and scared and then she had to tell her wife goodbye because they were taking her phone.

Since February 17th she has been in Russian custody. She just had her first trial three weeks ago and then appeared 6 days ago and pleaded guilty. And the reason I think Griner did this is because there is really nothing she can do. She was sentenced to 10 years for no reason.

And I think that Russia and their leader, Vladimir Putin, are doing this because they have found a US citizen captive and this is their way to target the USA to get what they want.  I feel like this is very unfair. I say this because even if the stuff she had was illegal it’s not necessary to have her do 10 years. Brittney Griner’s doctor also stated the marijuana concentrate hashish oil was medically prescribed to her but the court case still ended by saying that she was still guilty so this shows they have no respect for her. Star Ledger journalist, Matthew Stanmyre, said the situation is sad and wants to see the U.S. government do more to get her home. Not enough people are fighting for Brittney Griner. I say this because if it was LeBron James or Stephen Curry it would be a different story. If LeBron James was captured in Russia the league would probably be canceled.  And if Stephen Curry was captured the US would probably declare war on Russia. So there is a huge difference between women athletes and men athletes. Where is the unity that the NBA bubble had for George Floyd? How can the NBA not do the same for a black female that is being held in custody in Russian hands for something that is not right? If we are really trying to be equal, the country is not taking this seriously. I feel like President Biden doesn’t really care because this is just a women’s basketball player. I just think it’s not fair that he is not using all of his power to do what he can to bring his American citizen back to her home so she can be with her wife and family.

Student Bio

Rian J.

2022 - WoS Hillside - Summer Camp

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