Will the White House Bring Brittney Griner Back?


Imari McGhee, News Editor

What would you do if you were wrongly convicted and sentenced to almost a decade in prison? How would you react? How would you respond to the press? Would you try to appeal your conviction?

Well, the WNBA star Brittney Griner tries to appeal her Russian prison sentence on August 15th, 2022. Griner, an African American All-Star Champion, was convicted of carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on August 4th. Even though what she did was irresponsible and reckless, being sentenced to 9 years in prison proves the stereotype that all African American people are a threat and pointless.

Black people are socially, racially, and politically judged just because of how society sees us as such. It has always been a lifelong desire for all races to have an opportunity to be treated as equals and although it is not just one race that chastizes other races that do not look like them, it is in fact the individuals alone that have been conditioned to have their outlook on life or have just been stuck in their ways. Regardless, it has to be a realization that comes into play that makes them realize that all of the violence and cruelty that is taking place in the world is a token of their doing. It takes a village to raise a family, but it also takes a village to destroy one.

After 2 weeks of being convicted, Grimer’s defense team filed an appeal against her sentence to nine years in jail by a Moscow court according to https://www.cnbc.com. There is a right way to seek out justice and there is a wrong way. Knowing that she would be charged, she knew what the right thing to do was and that was to confess to the world what she had done and what thanks did she get for that; she gets a 9-in-a-half-year sentence. Since she has been in prison, there has been a conversation going around regarding Grimer’s sentence update. Apparently, U.S. officials have been negotiating with Russia for a prison swap that could be an incentive to bring her home. Dealing with the chosen applicants for this prison swap, there are so many risks that will have to be taken into consideration. According to CBSSPORTS.com, they say, “The discussions on the very sensitive topic of exchange are proceeding via the channels chosen by our presidents. Silent diplomacy continues and should bear fruit if Washington, of course, is careful not to fall into propaganda.” Having to emotionally stay centered in this type of predicament, Brittney Griner has been given a bad hand and is tragically dealing with the consequences.

Griner’s first day of testimony at her trial was on July 27. She described the day of her detention and complained that the interpreter had not given her a complete translation; she had to use a translation app on her phone to speak with a customs officer, she said. Griner claimed that when being asked to sign documents, she was neither given information regarding her legal options nor given access to a lawyer. Griner appealed for her release in a letter to President Joe Biden that was delivered to the White House on July 4. While reflecting on the significance of freedom over the Fourth of July vacation, Griner noted that she missed her wife, family, and teammates. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Cherelle Griner, the husband of Griner, two days later. Biden provided the Griner family with his solidarity in a statement sent by the White House, noting that his administration will “pursue every avenue” to bring Griner back to the United States. Let us all just hope that the White House keeps its word and bring Brittney Griner back to her family.