/  03.09.2022

The first photo of Brittney Griner since her Russian arrest surfaced online on Tuesday (March 8), leading her already anxious fans and supporters to call for more attention to be brought to her case.

Earlier on Tuesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and the Congressional Black Caucus responded to Griner’s detainment and said her situation is on the White House “agenda.”

“I that it is important that we discuss Brittney Griner with the president of the United States,” Lee, who represents Griner’s home state of Texas, said.

“We know about Brittney Griner and we know we have to move on her situation,” the congresswoman reiterated. “She is in a circumstance that could generate a 10-year sentence. Many of us believe that this is unwarranted.” 

Lee added that she has “trust” that the White House “will continue to work through this process” of ensuring Griner’s safety.

As reported by REVOLT, the WNBA star was arrested at a Moscow-area international airport last month after Russian authorities claimed to find vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage. Griner, who plays for the Phoenix Mercury, had been visiting the country to compete in games during her off-season.

On Tuesday, CNN shared the first photo of Griner —  an undated mugshot — which was originally broadcast by a Russian State TV channel over the weekend. As the picture circulated online, many called for more attention to be given to the Olympic gold medalist’s case.

“The lack of attention to Brittney Griner’s detainment is really just a microcosm to the over arching issue of support for women and women’s sports in this country, and that’s incredibly sad,” sports reporter Terrika tweeted.

“If Brittney Griner was a WHITE WNBA player, with blond hair and blue eyes what would be the response of the US Gov’t and the American press? If Brittney Griner was a WHITE NBA player, what would be the response of the US Gov’t and American Press?” another person wrote.

So far, the White House has not made an official statement on Griner’s detention specifically, but Secretary of State Antony Blinken did say the U.S. would “provide every possible assistance” to Americans being detained overseas.

“Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we, of course, stand ready to provide every possible assistance and that includes in Russia,” he said Sunday (March 6). “We have an embassy team that’s working on the cases of other Americans who are detained in Russia. We’re doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected.”

See tweets about Griner’s detainment below.

https://twitter.com/SheKnowsSports/status/1501566891562835971?s=20&t=FsaRPebp4NYz4deGM30Nqg

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