In February, American basketball star Brittney Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport after attempting to bring cannabis oil into the country, which is illegal according to Russian law. In the almost six months since being apprehended, Griner has lingered in a less-than-comfortable prison cell. On Thursday, the legal proceedings of the case came to a close when a Russian court delivered a guilty verdict, followed by a harsh sentence of nine years behind bars.
None of Thursday’s developments should have come as a surprise to anyone. As we’ve noted before, 99% of all Russian prosecutions end with a guilty verdict, and with a maximum available sentence of ten years, it was a foregone conclusion that Russian officials would throw the book at Griner, who has become little more than a political pawn in the continuing game of diplomatic cat-and-mouse being played by the Biden Administration and Putin regime. Nonetheless, the news apparently stunned Ms. Griner.
Griner, who is both black and lesbian, had been a vocal social justice warrior here in the U.S. prior to her incarceration, refusing to even enter sports arenas until after our National Anthem had been played. She would badmouth our country to anyone who would listen, pointing to fictional systemic racism and anti-LGBTQ sentiment, while simultaneously raking in enough cash to make her a multi-millionaire.
Indeed, Brittney Griner wasn’t merely biting the hand that fed her, she was kicking and stomping it. Resultingly, she had become a cult hero of our America-hating left, who have been vocal in their outrage and support of Griner. Perhaps it is for this reason that Griner may have thought that she would ultimately get off the hook.
According to Insider.com:
“WNBA star Brittney Griner was ‘devastated’ after being given a nine-year prison sentence in Russia, her lawyers said. In an interview after a Moscow judge delivered her sentence, an attorney on Griner’s legal team, Maria Blagovolina, said they had expected a sentence only half as long.”
“’She is very upset, very stressed,’ Maria Blagovolina, one of Griner’s lawyers, told reporters after the hearing. ‘She can hardly talk. It’s a difficult time for her.’ Blagovolina similarly told People: ‘She’s devastated. She is very upset and she’s honestly quite shocked, so she needs to digest what happened today.’ Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, another one of Griner’s lawyers, told People that Griner’s nine-year sentence was nearly double what they expected. They plan to appeal.”
Why Griner’s lawyers were expecting only a five-year sentence is unclear, when even casual observers could see that the Russians were intent on ramping up the sentence to increase her value in a potential prisoner swap. The more time Brittney faces behind bars, the more fired up America’s leftists will become which means even more intense pressure on President Biden from his base to swoop in and save her. The outcome seemed obvious.
Meanwhile, as Griner is left speechless and devastated, she must now wait to see how the Administration’s diplomacy unfolds. Biden recently put an offer on the table to the Russians for the release of both Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine in a Russian prison who is accused of espionage. The offer included swapping out a notorious arms dealer in exchange for the two, but the Russians have so far balked at the proposal.
"*" indicates required fields
Now, Brittney Griner must sit and wait. Wait and sit. And how she will be occupying her time, of which she will have an exceeding amount, is anyone’s guess. We can only hope she spends at least some of it rethinking her previous disdain and disrespect for our country.
If she had been accused of a similar infraction here in the U.S., Griner would probably be shooting baskets at this very moment instead of rotting in a cell. She would likely have a crack staff of overpaid American lawyers exploiting every loophole of our criminal code, and she’d be free to criticize our country to her heart’s content. So, Brittney, maybe it’s time to revisit some of that anti-Americanism of yours. Maybe, just maybe, America isn’t so bad after all.
By Jess Lawson
Jess Lawson is a regular contributor to The Blue State Conservative and a passionate, conservative millennial who loves America.
Enjoy HUGE savings at My Pillow with promo code BSC
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.
Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.