Where is Brittney Griner? 

The two time Olympic Gold medalist and 7 time WNBA all-star from Mercury’s team in Phoenix has been detained in a Russian jail since February 17th, and officials are not sure where she is being held. She was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after Russian authorities allegedly found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. She is being held for suspected drug charges, and her hearing is scheduled for May 19th, if convicted, she could face up to 10 years in Russian prison. 

The record-holder NCAA player has been detained for a month, yet, this issue has only been brought to the spotlight after prominent figures such as other WNBA players, Viola Davis, and Representative Cori Bush, who criticized said lack of attention: “We cannot ignore the fact that if Brittney Griner wasn’t a black woman, it would be plastered across the news that she is being held as a political prisoner in Russia.” 

Experts question the validity of this case, and worry for her safety in the face of the war Russia is waging in Ukraine and her location status. As one of the most respected and talented female basketball players in the world, her high-profile status should protect her, but this has also led to concerns about her being used as a bargaining chip during the current conflict. Furthermore, considering that Russia has a history of being unfriendly to the LGBTQ+ community, as a gay black woman, she faces an even higher risk. 

Despite her accomplishments, Brittney Griner is simply an American citizen, and many are calling for her safe return home. 

Read more about the situation here: #FreeBrittney