WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner is being detained in Russia after allegations that she had hashish oil in her luggage upon arrival at an airport near Moscow, according to the New York Times. It’s a frightening situation as Russia continues its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and worldwide tensions continue to rise as strong sanctions are placed on the Russian economy.
Not a whole lot. We’re unsure when she was detained and publicly we have not seen or heard from her since the news broke on Saturday. Per the Times, a criminal case had been opened into “the large-scale transportation of drugs, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison in Russia.”
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, posted on Instagram to thank fans for their support and request they “honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.”
“There’s only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point,” Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said of Griner. “Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes in Russia.”“
We have an embassy team that’s working on the cases of other Americans who are detained in Russia,” he added. “We’re doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected.”
To put it simply: money and a chance to win another championship.
Since 2016, Griner’s competed for UMMC Ekaterinburg, located 1,000 miles east of Moscow. There, Griner is paid several times her WNBA salary ($227,900 this season) to compete for EuroLeague’s best team. For reference, Phoenix Mercury teammate Diana Taurasi has reportedly earned 1.5 million for the club in one season.
The WNBA says all other players have fled both countries.
We’re praying for Griner’s safe return