The man who brought Brittney Griner home labels her ‘authentic, interesting band patriotic’
Brittney Griner was still imprisoned in a Russian penal colony last week after being sentenced to nine years in prison. In an incredible twist of events, she was swapped for a Russian arms trader and released from their captivity. While many criticize her for being unfaithful to her nation over the years, the official who brought Griner back praised her as a patriotic woman.
Griner has been incarcerated in Russia for ten months after medicinal cannabis was found in her luggage at a Moscow airport in February. She was sentenced to nine years in prison, and efforts to rescue her were hampered by the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. However, the momentum has shifted, as she was released last week as part of a high-profile prisoner swap with Viktor Bout, an arms dealer.
A US ambassador, Roger Carstens, transported Griner back to the US from the UAE and spent almost 18 hours with the WNBA sensation. She spoke with him for a long time and made a nice impression. Carstens praised Griner’s attitude and character throughout their many hours together on her return journey.
According to Fox News, he stated: “I was left with the impression that this is an intelligent, passionate, compassionate, humble, interesting person, a patriotic person, but above all, authentic.”
Carstens also said: “But above all, authentic. I hate the fact that I had to meet her in this manner, but I actually felt blessed having had a chance to get to know her.”
Everything you need to know about Brittney Griner’s arrest and sentencing
In February, Brittney Griner was apprehended by Russian officials at Sheremetyevo International Airport. The seven-time all-star was detained by Russian Customs while in possession of cannabis-infused vape cartridges. She was a seven-time all-star and two-time defensive player of the year, making her one of the best WNBA players of all time.
Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in August after being convicted in Russia of felony narcotics charges. The following month, Griner’s legal team filed an appeal, disputing the validity of her nine-year sentence.
She was fully entitled to a 10-year prison sentence, but in similar cases across Russia, convicted offenders received reduced sentences and, in some cases, parole. She was subjected to severe conditions at a penal colony that was dubbed Russia’s worst penitentiary.
Phoenix Mercury’s marquee star who is 32-year-old star has also won two Olympic gold medals. She has been a member of UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia since 2014 and has used the WNBA off-seasons to enhance her earnings.
What does the future hold for the WNBA star?
The Phoenix Mercury center was released from a Russian labor camp after a prisoner swap and is currently in America. Griner would be held personally responsible if she opted to rejoin the Mercury and the WNBA. Griner earned a lot of support from fellow WNBA players and fans across the league, and we might see the behemoth again next season.
Nobody wants to put pressure on Griner to decide whether or not to continue playing, so they’ll allow her some time to adjust. Griner will see her spouse Cherelle and her parents in Texas. Griner will get additional mental health resources from the league, as well as physical and mental exams and rehabilitation via a reintegration mechanism.