For the first time, Brittney Griner will be opening up about her time in Russian prisons for almost a year in 2022. The Phoenix Mercury star plans to go into details about being wrongfully detained in Russia.
At the time of her arrest, she was traveling to rejoin the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team. Russian authorities said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage when she arrived in Moscow at the Sheremetyevo Airport.
“That day was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life which only now am I ready to share,” she says in a statement shared with TODAY by her publisher, Knopf.
“The primary reason I traveled back to Russia for work that day was because I wanted to make my wife, family, and teammates proud,” she wrote. “After an incredibly challenging 10 months in detainment, I am grateful to have been rescued and to be home. Readers will hear my story and understand why I’m so thankful for the outpouring of support from people across the world.”
Here is how Twitter responded:
Griner added she also wants to raise awareness for other Americans who are wrongfully detained around the globe.
The seven-time All-Star was classified as wrongfully detained by the U.S. government, which allowed officials more latitude in negotiating her release. She would still plead guilty to drug charges in a Russian court in July and was sentenced to nine years in prison in August. After unsuccessfully appealing her sentence, she was transferred to a Russian penal colony in November.
She would make the decision to cut off her signature locs to get ready to deal with the frigid temperatures.
On December 8th, however, President Joe Biden announced Griner would be returning to the United States after his administration agreed to a prisoner exchange involving convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout.
She was back on American soil the following day, ending her detention after 294 days.
Griner made a large amount of her income playing in Russia, but she is unlikely to ever return for fear they may detain her again and she might go through this same process.WANT MORE FROM TOTALPROSPORTS? FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS.