Russia Is Jailing WNBA Star Brittney Griner for at Least Another 2 Months - DMT NEWS

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Russia Is Jailing WNBA Star Brittney Griner for at Least Another 2 Months

Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who’s been detained in Russia after weed vape cartridges were allegedly found in her luggage, will remain in custody overseas for at least two more months.

A Moscow court ruled Thursday that the detention of Griner, the 31-year-old all-star forward for the Phoenix Mercury who’s been in Russia since sometime in February, will continue until May 19, according to Russian news agency Tass. Griner pleaded not guilty to smuggling a “significant amount” of narcotics into or out of the country, which can carry up to 10 years in prison under Russian law.

Tass also reported that at 6-foot-7, Griner is too tall for the bed in her Moscow jail cell, which she’s sharing with two other women who have no previous convictions.

The Russian Federal Customs Service confirmed last week that the two-time Olympian was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport, although it never made clear when. Texas Congressman Colin Allred, a Democrat and member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee who’s been in touch with Russia’s state department, said that her arrest happened on Feb. 17, according to ESPN.

Last week, Russian Customs released a short video of the moments that appear to precede Griner’s arrest at the airport. Griner was briefly sniffed by a drug-dog at a security checkpoint before being allowed to continue. The video then cuts to her bag being placed on an airport conveyer belt and then searched by officials.

Griner’s detainment coincides with the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, leaving friends, family, and fans concerned for her safety. Some U.S. officials, including Allred, also fear that Griner may be used as a political pawn as Russia continues its siege.

Last week U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that U.S. officials were working to bring the star player back home. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton also called for her release. And a petition demanding that Griner be brought back safely has over 63,000 signatures, just a few thousand short of its 75,000 signature goal.

Griner was one of more than a dozen WNBA players who were in Russia or Ukraine on Feb. 24, the day Russian President Vladimir Putin commenced his attack. In the WNBA’s offseason, many players in the league take their talents internationally to make more money.

For the last seven years, for example, Griner has played for the UMMC Ekaterinburg, a Russian women’s basketball team, where she makes $1 million per season, four times her American salary, according to the Associated Press.

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via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Trone Dowd, Khareem Sudlow