BG42 signage is shown on the court at Footprint Center in support of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner

While WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison a few weeks back, Russia confirmed that negotiations over a potential prisoner swap between the United States and Russia were underway. The plan would swap Griner and another American prisoner for Russian prisoners currently in American prisons.

While not everyone in America seems sympathetic to Griner’s situation, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department confirmed on Monday that they remain resolute in the notion that the basketball star is wrongly detained and they are “in communication” with Russia about the next steps. Meanwhile, experts are “optimistic” about a resolution.

While there aren’t any major developments this week, Russia’s foreign ministry did say on Thursday that it was engaged in “quiet diplomacy” with the United States regarding a potential prisoner swap.

“Quiet diplomacy is underway and it should bear fruit if Washington follows it, and not fall into propaganda through media hype to score points before an election,” said Ivan Nechayev, a spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry, referring to the U.S. elections in November.

Previously, Russian officials had referred to President Joe Biden’s statements and the State Department messaging over Griner as “megaphone diplomacy.”

Per Reuters, the U.S. has offered to exchange Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout for Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan.


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