Calls Grow for Biden to Win WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s Release From Russia

This week, the Biden administration participated with Russia in a prisoner swap. A Russian pilot was released from Connecticut on drug charges. In return, a Marine veteran who had been held in Russia since 2019 was freed. Brittney Griner, a basketball player in jail, remains uncertain. One of the biggest stars in the Phoenix Mercury center’s history is Brittney Griner. WNBABut, the Biden administration as well as the league have not provided any information about her case since her arrest at a Russian Airport on February 17th on charges of possessing vape cartridges containing marijuana oil. “There are signs that this is clearly politically motivated from the start, but the White House and the State Department seem to be giving the WNBA this advice to remain silent,” says journalist Maya Goldberg-Safir, who wrote about the lack of public attention on Griner’s case in a recent article for Jacobin. “We know that in order to get Brittney Griner home, the White House will need to intervene.” Goldberg-Safir also notes that Griner, like many WNBAPlayers, she plays abroad during the offseason for extra income. Her arrest highlights the gender pay gap within professional sports, which may have put her at greater risk.

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