/  07.07.2022

Today (July 7), WNBA superstar Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Russian courtroom. As previously reported by REVOLT, the Phoenix Mercury center has been in custody since February for allegedly traveling with vape cartridges containing hashish oil, a form of cannabis. “I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law. I was in a rush packing and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bag,” the athlete told a judge, according to Reuters. “I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare,” she continued.

Just yesterday (July 6), President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Brittney’s wife, Cherelle Griner, over the phone to discuss getting Brittany home. “The President called Cherelle to reassure her that he is working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible,” the White House said. After Griner’s Russian detainment was extended several times, the most recent extension came on June 27 when she was ordered to remain in custody for at least another six months.

“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner said after the extension. The Olympian called for President Biden’s help saying, “I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates!”

Yesterday a spokesperson for ​​Russia’s Foreign Ministry made a statement regarding Griner’s case. “The court must first deliver its verdict, but no one is stopping Brittney Griner from making use of the appeal procedure and also from requesting clemency,” the spokesperson said. They added that “attempts to present her case as though the American woman was illegally detained do not stand up to criticism.” Griner could face up to 10 years in prison. She is due back in court on July 14.

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