Who’s Brittney Griner, the American basketball star sentenced to 9 years in Russia | World

Brittney Griner is 2.06 meters tall and weighs 93 kilograms. He wears a measurement 51 (US 17) shoe – and his palms are barely wider than US basketball star LeBron James.

Had Griner not entered the ladies’s skilled basketball league (WNBA) at 22, she would have adopted in her father’s footsteps and have become a policewoman.

He’s your “function mannequin” has been mentioned prior to now.

She has simply now been sentenced by a Russian courtroom to 9 years in jail on “drug” prices.

Griner, 31, was arrested at an airport within the Russian capital in February final 12 months after customs brokers discovered an e-cigarette liquid in her baggage containing hashish oil, which is against the law in Russia and which the athlete claims she used to make use of for medicinal functions.

The Olympic medalist has since been in jail and, to chop her sentence, pleaded responsible to drug-related prices, though she mentioned she didn’t intend to interrupt any legislation.

The US claims she is “wrongly detained” and has requested the Kremlin to launch her as a part of a prisoner alternate, however it isn’t recognized in the event that they obtained a response to this supply.

Identified to Phoenix Mercury followers as BG and regarded the very best offensive skilled girls’s basketball participant in america, Griner received her first battle as quickly as she joined the WNBA.

Griner was the primary participant within the US girls’s skilled basketball league to disclose her homosexuality (Picture: Getty Photographs by way of BBC)

She was the primary participant in a league to dare to say publicly that she was homosexual, whatever the penalties that disclosure would possibly entail.

“Earlier than Griner, there was a shadow over the league that insisted (observe)“ do not speak homosexual, ”explains sports activities columnist Tamryn Spruill.

“She simply mentioned,” What the hell, that is who I’m. ”

This audacity led her to change into the primary overtly homosexual athlete (female and male) to be sponsored by the sports activities firm Nike after being chosen first within the WNBA recruitment spherical.

On the age of 31, Griner received two gold medals on the Olympics, the title of probably the most worthwhile participant within the American Girls’s Basketball League, in addition to the WNBA and Euroleague championships.

A local of Houston, Texas, she received a basketball scholarship to review at Baylor College, the place she led the crew to the nationwide championship.

The basketball star was arrested in February – Photograph: Getty Photographs by way of BBC

Griner, nonetheless, was sentenced to 9 years in jail for touring with hashish oil for e-cigarettes to Russia, the place he performed for the Euroleague with UMMC Yekaterinburg through the season hiatus in america.

Griner did what different WNBA teammates did: she performed abroad to extend her earnings. In Russia, he earned 5 occasions greater than in america.

“The wage inequality in america has led to the unfair imprisonment of Brittney Griner in Russia, the place she is used as a political pawn,” explains WeAreBG, a marketing campaign organized by different athletes from the Nationwide Girls’s Basketball Affiliation.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the Euroleague suspended all Russian groups, and america and the WNBA started withdrawing their gamers.

The athlete was about to board the aircraft again to america when a Russian Federal Customs Service canine ordered authorities to test her hand baggage, which discovered e-cigarette liquids with hashish oil discovered.

Just a few months later, the sports activities star pleaded responsible to drug-related allegations, though he mentioned he didn’t intend to interrupt any legislation.

Throughout months of detention, Cherelle Watson, the athlete’s spouse and a 28-year-old lawyer, alleged that Russian authorities denied her consular entry and communication with household and mates.

She has simply been sentenced by a Russian courtroom to 9 years’ imprisonment on “drug” prices and paying 1,000,000 rubles ($ 16,300) superb.

Furthermore, in accordance with the courtroom, he should serve his sentence in a penal colony.

WNBA followers defended his launch (Picture: Getty Photographs by way of BBC)

US President Joe Biden referred to as Griner’s conviction “unacceptable” and demanded his speedy launch.

“As we speak, US citizen Brittney Griner obtained a jail sentence that’s one other reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongly holding Brittney,” he mentioned in a press release.

Days earlier than his conviction, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced that the Biden administration had made Russia a “substantial” alternate supply to make sure the return of Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.

“When I’m sitting right here in a Russian jail, alone with my ideas and with out the safety of my spouse, household, mates, Olympic jersey or any achievements, I’m afraid to remain right here without end,” she wrote in a letter despatched to Biden. from jail in July.

US media reported that the Moscow authorities was all in favour of changing the basketball star with convicted Russian arms seller Viktor Bout.

Nonetheless, this perception modified the panorama.

For now, Griner’s attorneys have instructed they attraction the choice, after criticizing that the Russian courtroom “fully ignored all of the proof of the protection and, extra importantly, the plea” made by the athlete in hopes of a minor conviction.

Upon studying of the sentence, Agent Griner, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, tweeted:

“It is a time for sympathy and a shared understanding that it is going to be troublesome to make a deal to deliver People dwelling, but it surely’s pressing and acceptable.”

Russia sentences American basketball participant Brittney Griner to 9 years in jail

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