“Woke” WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is best known for protesting the American national anthem, has pleaded guilty to drugs charges in Russia.
Griner, a two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist, admitted to the charges in a Russian court, her lawyers confirmed today.
The US State Department has claimed Griner is wrongfully detained but it’s unclear how this will impact any ongoing negotiations about her release.
Griner, 31, faces up to 10 years in prison under the charge.
According to CNN, “Griner’s plea came on the second day of her trial, which began last week, when a prosecutor accused her of smuggling less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.
“According to state media agency TASS, prosecutors argue Griner intended to import the drugs into Russia’s territory and put the prohibited substances into a backpack and a suitcase.”
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said about Biden getting her out:
“While I will remain concerned and outspoken until she is back home, I am hopeful in knowing that the president read my wife’s letter and took the time to respond,” she said.
“I know BG will be able to find comfort in knowing she has not been forgotten.”
Brittney Griner, who protested the national anthem, was arrested in Russia where she was playing for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA’s offseason.
Customs officers found “vapes” containing hashish oil in her luggage as she tried to leave the country.
However, Griner has gained little support for her case back home due to her anti-American protests while she was still in the land of the free.
Last June, Griner said: “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.”
Those words will likely be haunting Griner as she sits in her Russian jail cell.
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.”
U.S. Sen John Hoeven (R-ND) warned the Russians: “They better be very careful.”
Texas Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee demanded Griner’s release:
“We know that there were some issues dealing with vape cartridges and other items but let me be very clear.
“Brittney Griner is a United States citizen, she was a guest in Russia and I will be demanding her release.
“I don’t want to disregard a sovereign nation but Putin has disregarded sovereign nations his entire service in this world.
“Anyone that is killing and attacking and destroying Ukraine, a neighboring country that is not bothering them, has no right to hold Ms. Griner. Period.”
Griner’s agent said:
“We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA.
“As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”