Olbermann made the suggestion on Twitter, quote-tweeting a video of ESPN’s T.J. Quinn claiming there is a growing expectation that Russia will convict and sentence Griner to 10 years in prison.
Simple fix. Arrest Ovechkin. https://t.co/FRDxphy00Q
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) June 29, 2022
Griner has been in a Russian prison since February when she was detained at a Moscow airport for allegedly carrying vape cartridges with hashish oil, a marijuana concentrate that is currently illegal within the country. According to a recent report by the Associated Press, Griner’s criminal trial is set to begin July 1, with Russia also extending her detention for another six months, the duration of the trial.
As the WNBA has worked to keep the spotlight on Griner, hoping others will join them in calling for the U.S. government to intervene and get her released from Russian prison immediately, Olbermann suggested America respond by arresting Ovechkin, a superstar Russian-born hockey player.
In recent years, Ovechkin has been a public supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the two even displaying a friendship. Currently, Ovechkin’s profile picture on Instagram is a photo of him standing next to Russia’s president. And in 2017, the hockey star launched a re-election campaign on social media for Putin.
“I never hid my relationship with our president, always openly supported him,” Ovechkin wrote on Instagram in 2017, as transcribed by the Washington Post’s Isabelle Khurshudyan. “I’m certain there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team.”
The land of the free isn’t in its best shape at the moment, as election conspiracy theorists continue to threaten democracy and women have their rights violated by the Supreme Court, but let’s not take one more step closer to becoming Russia by arresting Ovechkin.