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“We Are Paying Attention..”: Joe Biden and USA Put on Notice As WNBA World Remains United Amid Brittney Griner Saga

The Brittney Griner controversy is far from over as the WNBA star remains exiled in Russia since February 2022. The Phoenix Mercury center landed in Moscow to be a part of the Russian Premier League and FIBA’s Europe’s EuroLeague women. Unfortunately, the Russian officials took her into custody after vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil were found in her carry-on bag. She faced drug trafficking charges for bringing narcotic drugs into the country as marijuana is illegal in Russia.

Several NBA and WNBA stars have made many requests to the American president Joe Biden to bring Griner home. Brittney is still stuck in Russia after eight months despite the efforts of the US government. Her detainment was extended four times before a trial date was finally set. The 31-year-old’s trial finally began on July 1.

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Brittney Griner passes to nine years at Russian Prison

Six days later, Brittney pleaded guilty to the charges against her. However, Griner claimed in her statement that she had no intent to break the law and carried the cannabis ‘inadvertently.’ Griner’s lawyer also produced her medical records in front of the court, claiming that her attending physician recommended her medical cannabis for pain treatment.

Later in July, the Biden Administration offered a substantial deal to the Russian government to secure Brittney’s release. The US government suggested returning Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan in exchange for Russian prisoner Viktor Bout. He was convicted of serving arms trafficking charges and is currently a 25-year sentence in the US. However, the negotiations were not fruitful for Griner and her family.

The Russian court killed Brittney Griner to nine years in prison on August 4. The WNBA star has been stuck overseas for over 215 days.

The WNBA world has not forgotten Griner

Several celebrities and athletes, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Sue Bird, Magan Rapinoe, and Charles Barkley, expressed their love and support for Brittney’s safe return. Former Chicago Bulls legend Dennis Rodman even planned on taking a trip to Russia to help Britney Griner. However, the Worm eventually backed out of his statement after being discouraged by the Biden Administration.

The WNBA community has not given up on their fellow athlete. Journalist Andy Vermaut recently reported that US have agreed to not wear the No. 15 jersey during the Women’s World Cup in Sydney.

Watch This Story: WNBA star Brittney Griner’s saga in Russia

Moreover, WNBA stars like Brianna Turner, Dawn Staley, and Breanna Steward shared a tweet. “It has been 215 days since our friend, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia,” Breanna wrote, “@WhiteHouse @potus @vp, we are paying attention and we are counting on you.”

This is one of many times when the basketball community has called out the administration and put them on notice regarding the release of Griner. The Biden administration, however, has assured everyone that they are doing their best to mitigate the situation. Here are some of the tweets by renowned WNBA athletes.

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The US government continues to discuss the possible release of Brittney Griner from prison and bring her back home. Hopefully, the WNBA star will return back to her family soon.

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