Why are we learning about this only now?
Basketball star Britney Greiner, WNBA champion and Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in Russia after customs officials in Moscow discovered hemp vape cartridges in her luggage.
The timeline for Griner’s arrest is unclear. Customs officials released security footage of a person who appears to be Greiner running through security at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, but did not identify her by name and did not give an exact date of detention.
Griner has a well-documented history of traveling to Russia to work for the WNBA off-season. Many WNBA players supplement their income by playing for overseas teams during the winter. In recent years, Griner has played for Russia UMMC Ekaterinburg in the FIBA Women’s Euroleague.
Her arrest highlights not only the escalating tensions in Europe, but also the troubling trend of American athletes such as Chakari Richardson Facing significant international consequences for dealing with cannabis – even as cannabis legalization spreads across the United States, Canada, Mexico and many other countries.
The Russian government has reportedly opened a criminal case against the WNBA All-Star seven times due to national laws prohibiting the possession of recreational or medicinal cannabis. In Russia, cannabis cartridges allegedly found in Griner’s luggage can carry a 10-year prison sentence for just two grams.
What will happen to Britney Greiner?
Mercury phoenix, The Griner WNBA team has released a statement On Instagram Saturday, March 5, acknowledgment of Grenier’s detention. But the question that arises is clear: how did this news remain silent for so long?
Griner is one of the biggest stars of the WNBA. Headlines about Russia have dominated global news for weeks. Sadly, Griner got dragged into a world chess match to try to follow her basketball dreams and earn a wage commensurate with her talent.
No WNBA player, let alone one of the league’s biggest stars, has to work overtime outside to supplement his salary at home. Perhaps if these women could get pay parity in a fair proportion with their male counterparts in the NBA, American treasures like Greiner would not feel the need to travel to Russia at such a fragile time in history.
Her weakness as an overtly black American trapped in a hostile Russian state should raise any American concern. I certainly encountered anti-black and gay sentiment abroad and at home, long before Russia attacked Ukraine. But the dangerous conditions of war and geopolitics further complicate an already stressful reality. This means that living in a world where a plant does no harm could put a black woman behind bars for simply trying to excel in her career and career.