Brittney Griner's story has finally had a drop scene. Russia has released Brittney Griner in a prison swap with Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Joe Biden’s Tweet about Britney Grinner
President Joe Biden tweeted about the details of the incident, confirming Griner’s safety. He tweeted that he spoke to Griner. She was safe and on a plane to return home.
It is very positive news, as fans across the U.S. were greatly concerned about Griner being detained in Russia. To many, it was unfair, and Russia’s attempt to take undue advantage of the opportunity offered to them by Griner’s mistake. There was a storm on social media. Players, fans, social media influencers, and celebrities stood by Griner and her family during these challenging times. Everybody wanted to see the WNBA star back in America. And now she finally is coming home to America after a successful prison exchange with a drugs and arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The news of Griner’s release has been largely welcomed by everyone in America and around the world. Finally, the Russians have set the American basketball star free. She can return to America and reunite with her family.
Griner had been detained in Russia for 293 days. She had been sentenced to nine years in jail for smuggling Marijuana cartridges into Russia. Recently, she was moved to the Penal colony, located in the southwest of Moscow.
Backstory – Britney Grinner’s Arrest and Release in Russia:
For those unaware of the story, here is a brief recap. Brittney Griner traveled to Russia to participate in the Russian basketball league in the WNBA off-season. It is a common practice for WNBA basketball stars to play in these leagues during the off-season.
On February 17th, 2022, Griner was detained by the Russian authorities as they found vape cartridges in Griner’s luggage. It was reported that the cartridges contained derivatives of cannabis. Resultantly, Grinner was detained with the charges of smuggling Marijuana into Russia.
The news first surfaced in the media in the first week of March. Initially, Griner had refused any such charges against her. However, the weak links in the case and strong Russian hold meant that there was very little chance of her release. Mainly because of the crucial nature of the charges against her.
In June, American officials had reportedly offered a prisoner exchange. However, the exchange would only be possible once Griner had gone through the legal trial. Griner’s trial officially began in July. During that period, she sent a letter to the American President, requesting help in this regard.
After consultations with her lawyers and American officials, Grinner pleaded guilty to the charges against her, in an attempt to accelerate the prisoner exchange. On Aug 4., Griner was found guilty of bringing Marijuana cartridges to Russia and sentenced to nine years in prison.
After countless challenging days, Russia released Griner on 8th December in the US-Russia prisoner exchange.
Griner will be back in America very soon.