Today (Aug. 4), the world received shocking news that WNBA star Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in a Russian prison. The decorated athlete was traveling through Sheremetyevo International Airport outside Moscow in February when officials discovered cannabis oil in her luggage. Although Griner pleaded guilty to traveling with the substance, her lawyers stated it was prescribed by a physician and Griner insisted she accidentally included it in her belongings while in a rush to pack.
“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,” she told a judge on July 7. After news of her sentence circulated, many flocked to social media to denounce the harsh punishment, including President Biden. “Today, American citizen Brittney Grier received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately,” he urged.
President Biden: "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 4, 2022
“Brittney Griner has been convicted and sentenced to 9 years in prison for bringing into Russia two cartridges of cannabis oil. Russia is not our friend. It is a hostile foreign adversary preying on an innocent person as a political pawn as trade bait for a prisoner exchange,” a user wrote. Another added, “Really disturbing how Russia is keeping Brittney Griner in a cage for some damn cannabis oil. Just abominable. Embarrassing, infuriating and f**king evil. She should be home.”
One person compared Griner’s case to former President Trump’s time in office: “Brittney Griner – Less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage. 9 years in prison. Donald Trump – Treason, sedition, insurrection, money laundering, fraud, rape, mass murder [and] a thousand other crimes. Still golfing, still grifting. There is no justice on Planet Earth.”
Less than a gram of cannabis oil in her luggage.
9 years in prison.
Treason, sedition, insurrection, money laundering, fraud, rape, mass murder, & a thousand other crimes.
Still golfing, still grifting.
There is no justice on Planet Earth.
— The USA Singers (@TheUSASingers) August 4, 2022
Other users saw it as an opportunity for the United States to investigate unjust situations in America. “Brittney Griner SHOULD be brought home. And this SHOULD make Americans think about all of the non-violent drug users that have been jailed with similarly harsh sentences HERE,” one person argued. We will keep Griner and her loved ones in our thoughts during this difficult time.
Brittney Griner SHOULD be brought home.
And this SHOULD make Americans think about all of the non-violent drug users that have been jailed with similarly harsh sentences HERE.
— Vincent ⚖️ (@VtheEsquire) August 4, 2022
Really disturbing how Russia is keeping Brittney Griner in a cage for some damn cannabis oil. Just abominable. Embarrassing, infuriating, and fucking evil. She should be home.
— Jason Overstreet (@JasonOverstreet) August 4, 2022
Brittney Griner has been convicted and sentenced to 9 years in prison for bringing into Russia two cartridges of cannabis oil. Russia is not our friend. It is a hostile foreign adversary preying on an innocent person as a political pawn as trade bait for a prisoner exchange.
— Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) August 4, 2022
No matter how you feel about Brittney Griner, a total of 10 years in prison for less than 1 gram of cannabis oil is absolutely cruel and unjust. I'm speechless. https://t.co/Dj0z9GAsfl
— Uncle Cocktail (@StillRadNotaFad) August 4, 2022
Brittney Griner is a Queer Black woman and is a political prisoner. I'll never be silent about the criminalization of my people by our oppressors. All of this over a vape? Enough of this. they also sentenced her to slave labor (penal colony).
— Jason (StarWind) (@EscaflowneClown) August 4, 2022
9.5 years?! 9.5 years 💔 BG, we love you. Dk what else to say. We love you. FREE BRITTNEY GRINER.
— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) August 4, 2022
Brittney Griner being sentenced to 9 years in prison for a petty drug possession in another country is unimaginably horrific, tragic and unjust.
This country being shocked by draconian prison sentencing for a petty drug possession is rich.
— I’m Still Not Over How Game Of Thrones Ended (@Leslie_Stark23) August 4, 2022
I know the Russian spy we can trade for Brittney Griner… pic.twitter.com/LKrFdQDpZU
— 🇵🇱Reality Dose🇺🇸 (@LRPow79) July 30, 2022
Brittney Griner being sentenced to 9 years in jail over cannabis is egregious.@POTUS must do everything in his power to get her back to the US.
He also must correct that injustice here in America, too. Far too many people are locked up over non-violent drug offenses.
— Nina Turner (@ninaturner) August 4, 2022
Americans don't fully understand of what Brittney Griner's reality in a Russian penal colony will look like: She is very tall, Black and American. She really sticks out. And she doesn't speak Russian, making it that much harder to navigate the complex rules and hierarchies.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) August 4, 2022
This Brittney Griner situation is beyond sad. I cannot imagine how scared she must be. 9 years in prison? In Russia? For vaping?
— MBali 💫 (@TheJessieWoo) August 4, 2022
This news is obviously devastating for Brittney Griner's family.
But it is also not entirely unexpected. The most likely resolution of this for Griner has ALWAYS been that the US and Russia would strike a deal for a prisoner exchange, which remains on the table.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) August 4, 2022
An important reminder, because the sentencing details today are heartbreaking: this is a sham trial, but part of the process to get Brittney Griner home. All of these charges have been ballooned to the most absurd of degrees just to raise BG’s profile as a political prisoner. https://t.co/QqAAV76jwC
— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) August 4, 2022
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