The detention of WNBA player Brittney Griner in Russia has been extended until May
Brittney Griner’s situation isn’t looking good. The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player will stay in Russia for at least another two months, according to ESPN.
According to TASS, the Russian state news agency, Brittney will be held until May 19.
“The court granted the investigation’s request and extended the arrest of US citizen Griner until May 19,” a Moscow court ruled, according to TASS.
On February 17, Brittney was reportedly arrested when Russian officials discovered vape cartridges in her luggage. The cartridges apparently contained hashish, a cannabis-derived oil. According to ESPN, her offense carries a potential sentence of ten years in prison.
Since 2015, the sportsman has supposedly been playing professional basketball in Russia. Brittney has spent the off-season of the WNBA in Russia for the past seven years. As you may know, American athletes frequently play overseas during their off-season.
Professional athletes that double-dip take advantage of the off-season to not only keep in condition but also to increase their earnings. While performing in Russia, Brittney reportedly made more than $1 million per season.
Brittney was also one of a dozen WNBA players that spent the winter season in Russia or Ukraine, according to ESPN. Since Russia invaded Ukraine days after Brittney’s arrest, they’ve all departed the region. In early February, she was held upon returning to Russia from a two-week league break in New York.
What Will Happen Next?
Despite this, the player’s fan base has been constantly rising. Hillary Clinton weighed in on the case on Wednesday, tweeting “Free Brittney” and a BBC piece about her detention.
Brittney’s detention has been extended to May 19, which means she will miss the start of the WNBA season on May 6. She is a WNBA champion, seven-time All-Star, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, according to ESPN.
This is a work in progress.