Back before she was locked up in Russia for (allegedly) trying to smuggle a cannabis-derived oil for her vaporizer device into the Russian Federation, a crime that they actually punish over there, Brittney Griner was one of the WNBA athletes known for protesting against America and the national anthem, using her fame and position not to support and defend her country but to bash it.
During the 2020 season, for example, Griner announced that she would not be appearing on the court for the anthem, saying:
“I’m going to protest regardless. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine. It will be all season long, I’ll not be out there. I feel like more are going to probably do the same thing. I can only speak for myself.”
She even went so far as to say that she didn’t think the anthem should be played at all. In her words:
“I honestly feel we should not play the national anthem during our season. I think we should take that much of a stand.”
Well, now the former America-basher is begging for America’s help in bringing her home as she faces the prospect of ten long years in one of Putin’s prisons.
She did so in the form of a letter sent to the Biden Administration, some parts of which Fox News got its hands on and reported on. Those excerpts read:
“… As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever”
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
The White House did respond on the issue, with NSC spokeswoman Adrienne Watson saying:
“We believe the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner. resident Biden has been clear about the need to see all U.S. nationals who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad released, including Brittney Griner. The U.S. government continues to work aggressively – using every available means – to bring her home.”
This isn’t the first time Griner or her allies have begged for help. Most recently, her agent did so on Twitter, saying:
Today’s hearing was administrative in nature and not on the merits. That said, the fact remains that the U.S. Government has determined that Brittney Griner is wrongfully detained and being used as a political pawn. [1/2]
The negotiation for her immediate release regardless of the legal proceedings should remain a top priority and we expect @POTUS and @VP to do everything in their power, right now, to get a deal done to bring her home. [2/2]
What Biden can do, however, if he even intends on helping the America-bashing athlete, is unclear. Relations between the US and Russia due to the recent Russian invasion and US response to it are quite sour and the continual stream of anti-Russia rhetoric coming from the American left likely makes Putin less than likely to make an exception for the sake of some WNBA player caught bringing drugs into Russia.