Brittney Griner Speaks Out And Asks President Joe Biden To Help Journalist Kept In Russian Prison

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For nearly a year, WNBA superstar Brittney Griner had her life turned upside down.

Griner, who rose to fame in her time at Baylor University as one of women’s basketball’s most dominant interior players, spent nine months in a Russian Penal Colony.

The 6-foot-9 superstar was arrested after trying to leave the country with medical cannabis, which had been legally prescribed but is illegal in Russia.

She pleaded guilty to the charges. But Russian courts showed her know leniency. They sentenced Griner to a remarkable nine years in prison. Many believed the sentence was intentionally harsh in an attempt to send a message.

Nine months later, Griner came home after a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Not everyone was a fan of the move.

But Griner has done everything in her power since to speak out for other American prisoners without a voice. One, in particular, is Wall Street Journal writer Evan Gershkovich.

Gershkovic was arrested on charges of espionage last week.

Now the WNBA star is trying to make sure that he returns safely, as she did.

Griner’s wife, Cherelle, took to Instagram with a message from both she and Brittney.

It read as follows:

“Our hearts are filled with great concern for Evan Gershkovitch and his family since Evan’s detainment in Russia. We must do everything in our power to bring him and all Americans home.

We are grateful for President Biden and his administration’s deep commitment to rescue Americans. We celebrate their recent successful efforts to bring home Jeff Woodke and Paul Rusesabagina.

Every American who is taken is ours to fight for and every American returned is a win for us all.

That is why we call on all of our supporters to both celebrate the wins and encourage the administration to continue to use every tool possible to bring Evan and all wrongfully detained Americans home. #WeAreBG #BringThemHome

Griner, who intends to play for the Phoenix Mercury in the upcoming WNBA season, had previously pledged to help prisoners in a similar situation to her own.

The White House also released a statement on Gershkovich that read in part…

“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms.

We also condemn the Russian government’s continued targeting and repression of journalists and freedom of the press.

I want to strongly reiterate that Americans should heed the U.S. government’s warning to not travel to Russia. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as the State Department continues to advise.”

Gershkovich has spent the past six years reporting in Russia.