Brittney Griner

While the war in Ukraine rages on, the ongoing discussion about what is happening with WNBA star Brittney Griner and what the United States is doing about it is causing a lot of confusion and anger.

Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February for allegedly carrying vape cartridges that Russian officials claimed had hashish oil, a marijuana concentrate, which is currently illegal within the country. Griner could face up to ten years in prison if convicted.

The arrest wasn’t made public until March, which led to an outcry from many on social media and in the American media about the lack of coverage. The U.S. government has been in a tricky situation where they want to help Griner but they also don’t want to signal to the Russian government that she has value as a political pawn.

U.S. Reps. Byron Donalds and Burgess Owens called on the Biden administration recently to send a message to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Griner, asking him to take action.

The State Department has now responded in regard to Griner’s status.

“One of the Department of State’s top priorities is to provide assistance to U.S. citizens who are incarcerated or detained abroad. The Department understands your concern regarding Ms. Griner’s detention,” the letter reads, according to Fox News.

“On February 17, customs police at a Moscow airport detained Ms. Griner, alleging that she was smuggling narcotics. Ms. Griner has had consistent access to her legal team. She is currently in pre-trial detention outside of Moscow. In a hearing on March 17, the Russian court extended Ms. Griner’s detention until May 17. U.S. Embassy Moscow’s consular chief was permitted to visit Ms. Griner on March 23. Ms. Griner is doing as well as can be expected.”

The news that Griner has access to her legal team is very welcome. However, this difficult situation doesn’t sound as though it will be rectified anytime soon.

In March, a Moscow court extended Griner’s arrest through May 19.

[Fox News]

About Sean Keeley

Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of '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 many other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.