Brittney Griner Sentenced To 9 Years In Russian Prison

“I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city [Yekaterinburg] because of my mistake I made and the shame I brought to them,” Griner said in his statement. “I also want to apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury back home, the wonderful women of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner back home.”

In response to her sentence, President Joe Biden criticized Russia for “wrongly detained” Griner, and vowed to “pursue every possible path” to bring her home.

“That is unacceptable, and I urge Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates,” Biden said in a statement. statement. “My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every avenue possible to get Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible.”

WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released a joint statement condemning the ruling.

“Today’s verdict and sentencing is unreasonable and regrettable, but not unexpected and Brittney Griner remains falsely detained,” they said. finally brought BG home in the United States. “

Griner had previously testified that she used doctor-prescribed cannabis oils to treat pain from sports injuries, but packed them in a hurry and had no intention of bringing them to Russia, where she playing in the WNBA. “Since they accidentally fell into my pocket, I take responsibility, but I have no intention of smuggling or planning to smuggle [illegal substances] to Russia, “she was testify on July 27.

Griner also complained that Her rights were not read to her when she was first arrested and that she did not receive appropriate interpreting services during the investigation.

In one letter written to Biden Last month, Griner said she was “terrified” that she could be held in a Russian prison forever.

“I realize you’re dealing with a lot of things, but please don’t forget me and the other American Detainees,” she said. “Do all you can to get us home.”

Colas, Griner’s representative, said they appreciate the Biden administration’s effort to bring the basketball star and Whelan back to the US.

“Bringing Brittney and Paul home is the sole goal, and therefore, we should use all the tools available,” Colas said. “We must remain focused and united. This is a time for compassion and a shared understanding that completing an agreement to bring Americans home will be difficult, but it is urgent and important.” it’s the right thing to do.”

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