As the Russian military invasion of Ukraine enters its second month and diplomatic relations between the US and Russia are at their most strained point in decades, seven-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner is being held as a political prisoner by Russian authorities. As famed sports analyst and journalist Dave Zirin recently wrote for MSNBC News, “While Griner’s detention has received a measure of media attention, the fact that she was in Russia in the first place demands its own examination… Like most professional women’s players, who make a microcosmic fraction of what the men make in the NBA, this kind of international play is essential for supplementing their income.” TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with Zirin about the current status of Griner’s detention, why sports media hasn’t made Griner’s case a bigger story, and what can be done to bring her home safely.
Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation, where he also hosts The Nation’s Edge of Sports podcast. He is an internationally renowned sports analyst, a frequent guest on ESPN, MSNBC, and Democracy Now!, and the author of ten books on the politics of sports, including most recently The Kaepernick Effect: Taking a Knee, Changing the World.
Read the transcript of this interview: https://therealnews.com/wnba-star-brittney-griner-is-a-political-prisoner-in-russia
Pre-Production: Maximillian Alvarez
Studio/Post-Production: Adam Coley
EDITOR’S NOTE: When referencing Sue Hovey, former ESPN executive editor and co-author of Brittney Griner’s 2015 memoir In My Skin: My Life On and Off the Basketball Court, Alvarez mistakenly states that Hovey is the former ESPN “executive director.”
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