The overseas trial for Brittney Griner started.
The WNBA star’s wife, Cherelle Griner, says Brittney is “forced” to go into a tiny cage whenever she has to make a court appearance. Seemingly inhumane, considering Brittney is six-foot-nine.
Cherelle told CNN Brittney has to travel in the small cage for court for five hours, round trip. She said, “So BG is having to travel over five hours round trip when she goes to court in a very, very, very tiny cage with her knees bent, feet up to the ground, because it’s not big enough for her to fit in.” Cherelle also said her wife is “exhausted.”
Brittney’s trial began on July 1. Insider reports “experts,” say everything will be a “show trial” and an outcome has “likely been decided.” Russian authorities accuse Brittney of smuggling cannabis oil in her luggage. She’s been locked up since February. Brittney faces 10 years and must remain detained for six more months.
Last week, photos of Brittney went viral online as she wore shackles on her wrists, cuffed to an officer, and surrounded by multiple security guards.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist went to Russia to play in the country’s professional league during the WNBA’s offseason. Russia extended her detention three times, on March 17, May 13, and June 6.
Cherelle spoke out on Good Morning America and believes Brittney is being used as a political pawn as the war against Russia and Ukraine continues.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, claims Brittney isn’t a “hostage.” Peskov said Brittney was “no different” than other Russian citizens that were sentenced for carrying hashish.” He said, “Why should we make an exemption for a foreign citizen?” He also said, “She violated Russian law, and now she’s being prosecuted. It’s not about being a hostage. There are lots of American citizens here. They’re enjoying their freedoms … but you have to obey the laws.”
Last month, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony publicly spoke out, advocating for her release. Brittney’s hometown in Houston, Texas, ABC reports gathered outside the Toyota Center, demanding her release on June 6. Mayor Sylvester Turner deemed 6/6 “Brittney Griner Day.”
When Brittney is released, ESPN reports she’ll have a place at the WNBA All-Star game.