Brittney Griner update.
According to a Russian spokesperson, the WNBA star isn’t a “hostage.” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, denied claims that she is.
During an exclusive interview with
earlier this week in Moscow, 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
, 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.”
The publication’s journalist, Keir Simmons, asked why Russia didn’t refuse Griner’s entry when she initially arrived or sent her back. Peskov replied and said he “couldn’t comment on
On February 17,
and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney was
at a Moscow airport after Russian authorities claimed they found vape cartridges while searching her luggage. The cartridges allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Brittney 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 the latest, June 6. The latest extension means she’ll be behind bars until July 2, according to a Russian news agency.
Brittney’s family, wife, WNBA circle, and NBA players, like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, pushed for her release. Carmelo said, “Let’s bring attention to this matter by sharing BG’s story and
WeAreBG.org #WeareBG.” LeBron’s message was similar; he said, “We need to come
and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!! Our voice as athletes is stronger together.”
Brittney’s partner, Cherelle, spoke out on
and believes Brittney is being used as a political pawn as the war against Russia and Ukraine continues. Cherelle said,
“So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it.”
Earlier this month, in Brittney’s hometown in Houston, Texas,
reports supporters gathered outside the Toyota Center, demanding her
. Mayor Sylvester Turner deemed 6/6 “Brittney Griner Day.”