State Department Supports Release of WNBA Player

Says Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia.

The State Department has determined that women’s basketball star Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia on drug charges. The department’s statement indicates the United States government’s support behind the campaign for her release. 

WNBA athlete Griner was arrested at an airport outside Moscow in February after authorities there reportedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. 

On Tuesday, a State Department spokesperson said, “The U.S. government will continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner.” There are concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use Ms. Griner as a political prisoner to get something from the U.S. 

Ms. Griner, a center for the Phoenix Mercury, plays for a Russian team in the offseason. WNBA athletes frequently play overseas for teams that pay more than they earn in the U.S. 

In designating her to be wrongfully detained, the U.S. government will now negotiate for her return rather than wait for her case to wend its way through the Russian legal system. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For State Department officials as they endeavor to secure Ms. Griner’s release.
  • For wisdom for U.S. negotiators interacting with Russian officials.
  • For protection for the WNBA player as she is detained.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, ESPN, NPR


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