WNBA star Brittney Griner is a political prisoner in Russia

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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Author: phillyfinest369


21 thoughts on “WNBA star Brittney Griner is a political prisoner in Russia

  1. This is blatant Western Propaganda/American exceptionalism that retroactively looks atrocious

    "But on the flip side, if we raise hell, then we can actually embarrass, humiliate Putin at a moment where his situation is very delicate, at a moment where he’s losing, at least militarily. And he’s certainly losing politically and ideologically in this war. All he has is overwhelming firepower and the ability to destroy at this point. And that seems to be the only strategy that they have left."

  2. Regular everyday Americans feel the same about Tom Brady getting caught in Russia with hash oil as they do Brittany Griner…don’t commit crime in foreign countries. The only loud pressure would be coming from the media and elites. You see, everyday non-celebrity people know not to do dumb bs like that because they’ve seen an episode of Locked Up Abroad. Don’t blame people for not caring that much because she’s “black”, “gay”, or “a woman” , everyday people don’t care that much because the mere fact that she got any National press is privileged far above what they would receive.

    Secondly, your point that WNBA players have to work a second job because they only get paid mid 5 figure to low 6 figures… spare me! The median income for 20-24 year old female in the US is $35k/yr. The lowest salary in the WNBA is $63k/yr while the highest is $235k/yr. Half of the country’s working females between the ages of 20-24 survive on 44% of the lowest paid WNBA players salary. Just because they are not paid at the same scale as NBA players does not mean they are going overseas because they’re close to poverty and need a second job.

    Honestly the entire viewpoint of this video is really irritating and disingenuous.

  3. Bg must be released the lack of psychotropic effects suggests there is no violation and for Russia to deny their own citizens the crucial access to CBD products abandons their health concerns
    The impact upon the liver kidneys and especially for the athletes is soooo wrong
    To find it a complaint that has validity begs the questions which must be asked
    Harlem globetrotters are diplomats and bg deserved the same

  4. Who cares how many times she has been an all-star. If she's a drug addict, braking a countries drug laws, she deserves everything she gets…..noe w'll hear all the standard excuses, about her unfortinute childhood, single parent home, living in an gang infested area, etc etc etc..like we are supposed to feel sorry for her, give her a break, show compassion. BS first the league should suspened her for the criminal act, if she gets out before she's to old to play. p.s. just because she comes out of the 85 IQ grouping, is no excuse!

  5. If she is a "pollical prisoner" why haven't the Russians tried to exploit her as a bargaining chip? I am not sure why you feel "making noise" about her case will embarrass Putin. He has sent young Russian men to their death. His actions have caused the death of so many in Ukraine. None of these things have embarrassed him. Why would the incarceration of Griner do it?
    What evidence do you have that she was "singled out"? If that was the case, why have the Russians not capitalised on their efforts. There is no media in Russia mentioning her at all.
    If the Russians were to "target" someone, wouldn't they target someone more useful. Griner doesn't have a particularly high profile, not an empathetic personality nor is she respected in Russia, the US or anywhere else. Surely there would be a better candidate as political prisoner. In fact, almost anyone else.
    That really leaves us with her making a stupid decision and now paying the price for it.

  6. Innocent until proven guilty? Come on Matlock, that applies in the US (sometimes), she's in Russia. Imagine if she was in Singapore, or a country that has corporal punishment or worse for that type of offense, whether it's a set up or not.

  7. A political prisoner? I'm not gonna jump to conclusions…all I want to know is what can Russia ask for, for holding a basketball player hostage? What can America give for them to release Brittney? It's an unfortunate situation, its people right here in America that has got more time here for less, he says 10 like it's not people right here doing 20 and 30 years for drugs, and name me the last male basketball or celebrity for that matter who was arrested in another country for smuggling drugs, and got off? I'll wait……it's not a black or white, male or female thing, sometimes people make bad decisions, maybe she was setup, who knows, thing is it's hard to not check your bag before you load it though

  8. Maybe Russian drug laws are racist? Or not letting her bond out is racist? Or maybe africanAmerican basketball players are disproportionate in prison compared to their over-all percentage Russian population?
    Other countries dont care about the corny, fake cries of racism. Be glad she's in a middle of the road country like Russia, and not being sent to the work camps in China, or some central American prison to rot and die. In Indonesia she could face the death penalty, in the Philippines she probably would.

  9. Ya'll hear the hypocrisy 5:16 when he say innocent until proven guilty, but before that he was introduced as a spokesman for 'democracy now' ? In a democracy everyone is guilty until they can prove their innocence. That's why everyone believes people are guilty when accused, it's been propagated for so long it's now accepted by morons who can't think for themselves. America is a republic, and is so because the founder's had rejected democracy for that reason.

  10. Look anyone in the state dept. Doesn't think ol' vlad doesnt know what "trophies" are in his country should be fired. There was a 1 week window where they could have done this quietly and that time has past

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