A Democrat member of the US House Armed Services Committee has warned that it will be “very difficult” to get woke WNBA player Brittney Griner out of Russia.
Griner, who previously made headlines by protesting against America’s national anthem, was arrested in Russia on drug charges and faces ten years in a Russian prison.
However, Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) is warning that the chance of getting Griner out of Russia is very slim.
“Our diplomatic relationships with Russia are nonexistent at the moment,” Garamendi said.
“Perhaps during the various negotiations that may take place, she might be able to be one of the solutions. I don’t know.
“Russia has some very, very strict LGBT rules and laws.”
Griner’s wife Cherelle Griner said: “People say ‘stay busy.’
“Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you.
“My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats every day that goes by.
“There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting.
“I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details,” Cherelle Griner wrote.
“Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.”
The Russian Federal Customs Service said:
“As a US citizen was passing through the green channel at Sheremetyevo Airport upon arriving from New York, a working dog from the Sheremetyevo customs canine department detected the possible presence of narcotic substances in the accompanying luggage.
“The customs inspection of the hand luggage being carried by the US citizen confirmed the presence of vapes with specifically smelling liquid, and an expert determined that the liquid was cannabis oil (hash oil), which is a narcotic substance.”
“The best news we got today was that they know about it and that she’s on the agenda,” Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who represents Griner’s hometown of Houston, Texas, said.
“We know about Britney Griner, and we know that we have to move on her situation.”
Griner faces ten years in prison or being a political pawn in a war that could go on for a long time.
She made news last June for saying:
“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.”
Former NYC Police Department Commissioner Bernard Kerik said:
“Two years ago #Woke Brittney Griner said we should stop blaring our national anthem.
“The Star-Spangled Banner before games.
“What’s ironic is that our government and @SenJohnHoeven will fight like hell to get her back to the US.”
From The AP:
Russian sports leagues have been able to pay top players these high salaries because some of the teams are funded by government municipalities while others are owned by oligarchs who care more about winning championships and trophies than being profitable.
There are stories of Russian owners putting up players in luxury accommodations and taking them on shopping sprees and buying them expensive gifts in addition to paying their salaries.
In 2015, Taurasi’s team, UMMC Ekaterinburg — the same one Griner plays for — paid her to skip the WNBA season and rest.
“We had to go to a communist country to get paid like capitalists, which is so backward to everything that was in the history books in sixth grade,” Taurasi said a few years ago.
The Russian league has a completely different financial structure from the WNBA, where there is a salary cap, players’ union and collective bargaining agreement.
.@thereidout Blog: Brittney Griner may have already spent days, if not weeks, in Russian jail. And that’s a terrifying place to be for a queer, Black woman — especially when Russia is looking for every possible point of leverage over Western counterparts. https://t.co/OGDYXa3VpD
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 8, 2022