After roughly a month in Russia’s custody, WNBA star Brittney Griner is said to be doing “okay.” The athlete’s friend U.S. Congressman Collin Allred provided the update during an interview with TMZ, noting that further details are being withheld with hopes that the silence will help to keep Griner safe.
“Right now, we want to see her treated normally as anyone else would be and come home as soon as possible,” Allred said. “We have to make sure that she’s treated as anyone else would be and she’s not a symbol or a hostage or anything like that.”
As previously reported by REVOLT, Griner was detained last month in connection with her “large-scale transportation of drugs.” The Russian Customs Service particularly noted she was carrying cannabis-derived hash oil, an act punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, and has since placed her under investigation. In the meantime, her wife, fans, peers and fellow athletes on the Phoenix Mercury and WNBA have rallied for her safe return.
“We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA. We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home,” Mercury said in a statement.
Given the U.S.’ involvement in the Ukraine and Russia conflict, Secretary of State Antony Blinken generally noted that the country would “provide every possible assistance” to Americans being detained overseas. Allred has since confirmed that they are purposely keeping mum about the case and Griner’s status as a WNBA star to prevent Russians from using her as a pawn.”There’s a lot going on in the world,” he said in the interview with TMZ. “There’s a lot going on between us and Russia, but Brittney should not be swept up in that.”