In an interview posted today (June 17) from TMZ Sports, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. shared that he is working to free WNBA star Brittney Griner from jail in Russia. As previously reported by REVOLT, the Phoenix Mercury center has been in custody since February. She was detained for allegedly traveling with vape cartridges containing hashish oil.
Griner’s situation has been at the forefront of discussions as the American citizen remains in a Russian jail amid an ongoing war with American-ally Ukraine. The athlete’s detainment has been extended several times.
“Would I put my life on the line [and] take a chance to go to Russia to exchange prisoners? Yes, I would,” Jones said as he spoke with the outlet. He then explained his reason for wanting to help bring Griner back. “Why? Because if it was my daughter, I would want somebody to do the same thing for me.”
The boxing champ has dual citizenship in the United States and Russia. Jones added that he spoke with a friend close to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding Griner.
“My friend called and he called me back and he said, ‘Yes, they said they’d be willing to do a prisoner exchange.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s probably rough because the prisoner exchange is probably a real prisoner.’ She’s not necessarily a person that’s a real prisoner, but I’m sure that maybe the U.S. will be understanding of this and get her back home because I’d be terrified if my kid was stuck in a foreign country in jail, you know?” he said in the interview.
Griner’s most recent detainment extension came on Tuesday (June 14) when sources reported that the basketball star would remain in jail until at least July 2. At the time of the announcement, her teammates and coach said they were “confident in the work that [the State Department is] doing.” They continued, “[The department] encouraged us to keep speaking her name, to keep holding them accountable to bring BG back home as soon as possible.”