WNBA star Brittney Griner sentenced to nine and a half years in prison in Russia


“I know that everybody keeps talking about political pawns and politics, but I hope that is far from this courtroom. I want to say again that I had no intent of breaking Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime, “she added.

Time for a trade?

At the highest levels of US-Russia diplomacy a deal is being brokered to secure the release of the WNBA star.

Outside the courthouse, Elizabeth Rood, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, called the excessive sentence a “miscarriage of justice.”

Signup for the USA Herald exclusive Newsletter

President Biden described Griner’s sentence as “unacceptable” and pledging to “work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue” to bring her home.

“I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,” Biden added.

The guilty verdict and a long sentence were expected by Russian experts and diplomats. These outcomes give Russia the most leverage with the Biden administration. And Biden is facing mounting pressure to bring the basketball star home to her wife and family.