Brittney Griner is back home and safe with her family again, after months of protests backing her up.
Brittney Griner, a basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, was freed on Thursday, December 8, 2022. She was in custody in Russia for almost 10 months, being detained since February 17th, 2022. After getting caught with having vapes filled with marijuana concentrate hashish oil in her suitcase at the Sheremetyevo International Airport, she was found guilty on drug charges in Russian court and was sentenced to 9 years in prison.
President Joe Biden for weeks leading up to her release, was negotiating with Russia to try and bring Griner back to the United States. Finally, Russia agreed to free Griner in exchange for Viktor Bout, a Russian man who was sentenced to 25 years in Illinois for selling weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and for planning to kill U.S nationals.
During Griner’s imprisonment, campaigns had been started to make sure that she was safe during her time in Russia and had raised money to one day get her released. These campaigns spread awareness for the basketball player, but also spread awareness for the WNBA. As women in sports, these players get paid less than what they should be getting paid, and are just overall treated unfairly. This gender gap in sports needs to be addressed and hopefully in the near future it will be.