What Brittney Griner’s ‘Wrongfully Detained’ Status In Russia Really Means

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 What Brittney Griner’s ‘Wrongfully Detained’ Status In Russia Really Means

Brittney Griner has been one of the biggest names in women’s basketball since her breakout years in college with the Baylor Bears, years that included an NCAA national championship, according to the WNBA. Despite being one of the headliners of the preeminent women’s basketball league in the United States, Griner — and many other WNBA regulars — play abroad during the league’s off-season. This is why Griner was in Russia in the first place; to play for the Russian squad UMMC Ekaterinburg.



Griner was passing through a Moscow area airport when officials claimed to have discovered vape cartridges in her luggage that contained hashish oil. According to ESPN, no formal charges have been filed against Griner, though officials alleged that she had brought the cartridges into the country illegally.



Before word came out that Griner was being held by Russian authorities, U.S. officials were initially mum on Griner’s identity. Early on, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted the need for privacy in matters like this, but that the government was doing what it could to help. “There’s only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point,” Blinken said, as NPR reported. “Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we, of course, stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes in Russia.”



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