Brittney Griner Aug 4, 2021; Saitama, Japan; USA player Brittney Griner (15) drives to the basket while being defended by Australia player Ezi Magbegor (13) during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Hume was a diplomat and ambassador under Bill Clinton, George W Bush, and Barack Obama.

Since leaving his government post, he has worked with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson in their work to help free Americans being held overseas.

One of the prisoners they had a hand in trying to get released was WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was held in Russia and given a nine-year sentence after vape canisters with cannabis oil residue was found in her luggage.

Hume was speaking to the podcast One Decision when he shared some details on how he and Richardson were able to play a role in Griner’s eventual release and return to America.

Hume told the podcast that Richardson and his team approached Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and were “able to get a little more clarity, and I think in a way that helped push forward what became the December swap.”

Griner was swapped for convicted arms dealer Viktor Bout and there was a lot of pushback to the move from the U.S. government and from some American citizens. However, Hume sees it as a fair deal to get an unfairly punished American home.

“The justice department never wants to release any prisoner,” said Hume. “There was a brief outcry. And I think two days later, they got over it.

“That’s not to dismiss the risks in trading. But … how do we view ourselves as a humane society [if we] allow a woman who was fundamentally innocent, a patriot who won gold medals for this country, to rot in a prison colony for nine years, so that Viktor Bout could serve the last six years of his 20-year sentence in an American prison?”

[Daily Mail]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to