Brittney Griner May 20, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; WNBA MVP candidate and All Stars player Brittney Griner during media day before she enters her eighth season with Phoenix Mercury. Mandatory Credit: Nick Oza/The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

Last Thursday, Russian authorities arrested reporter Evan Gershkovich and accused him of spying for the United States government.

Gershkovich has been a Moscow-based correspondent for the Wall Street Journal since 2022 and reported from Moscow since 2017. Gershkovich is the first American journalist to be detained by Russia since the Cold War.

One person who expressed support was WNBA superstar Brittney Griner. Brittney, and her wife Cherelle, posted an open letter on Instagram supporting Gershkovich and his family while calling on others to encourage U.S. President Joe Biden, and his administration, to bring Gershkovich home.


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Since Gershkovich’s arrest, the Biden administration condemned Russia’s action as the Wall Street Journal denied the accusations. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Sunday to call for the release of Gershkovich and Marine Paul Whelan, who has been detained in Russia since 2018. As of Sunday, Russia hasn’t granted consular access to U.S. officials for them to communicate with Gershkovich.

Griner has a pretty good idea of what Gershkovich is going through. Griner was detained for 10 months after being found guilty of possessing a small amount of medical hashish oil in a luggage bag. That carried a nine-year sentence, but Griner was released in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

[Brittney Griner]

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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