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WNBA's Griner convicted at drug trial in Russia; sentenced to 9 years

53 Comments
By JIM HEINTZ

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53 Comments

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She is guilty, but the punishment is excessive.

Could be excesive, but if I went to Russia the last thing I would take in my luggage are drugs, in China it's worse, drug smuggling receive the death penalty..

Each country has its own laws and it must be respected, you cannot do the same stupid things that you do in your country..

I hope she can get help..

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Why do these people think that they can do drugs in countries that have made it clear that they have zero tolerance for it? Then when they get caught they demand their governments bail them out. Head scratcher….

10 ( +21 / -11 )

U.S. President Joe Biden denounced as “unacceptable” the verdict and sentence, 

And that’s the extent of what he can actually do about it.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

well when she claimed she would not be standing on the court for the national anthem at all this year, guess she was quite prophetic.

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Why do these people think that they can do drugs in countries that have made it clear that they have zero tolerance for it? Then when they get caught they demand their governments bail them out. Head scratcher….

Because they see the host of crimes the elite oligarchs and their servants commit and get away with sans consequences.

People learn from the examples of the "leaders" in business and politics.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

This is what happens when you bring in drugs, folks.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

I’ll bet she won’t do that again.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Prisoner swap will happen very soon.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

She protested the National Anthem while playing in the WNBA, claims it doesn't represent all Americans, but now she wants her country to negotiate for her release in exchange for a mass murder.

If Biden does bring her back, will she protest the playing of the National Anthem at the White House?

4 ( +16 / -12 )

The US already imprisons tens of thousands of its own people for cannabis possession. It's surprising that they would care about one overseas.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

The US already imprisons tens of thousands of its own people for cannabis possession. It's surprising that they would care about one overseas.

Because she is a citizen of the US still, not to mention dealing with the prison conditions in a foreign country, so I am not surprised at all quite the opposite, but having said that, I think the woman should have known better, but let's be honest here, this is all political and about a bigger issue and that is prison exchange.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

9 years? It wasn’t an MRLS? It’s just hostage justice, an opportunity for Russia to get leverage over the USA. Has nothing really to do with the pathetic amount of drugs. It’s a justice system controlled as everything is in Russia by the Kremlin. If nothing else it’s a warning for westerners to avoid going to Russia, like North Korea you might get taken hostage.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

When she took the stand July 7, Griner said: “I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me. But I had no intention of breaking any Russian law.” She added that she brought the vape canisters into Russia because she had packed in haste for her flight.

She went to play basketball in Russia because she felt disrespected in the US playing in the WNBA for what she thought was a low salary.

She was getting paid $1 million a year in Russia.

And then she disrespected the Russians by bringing drugs into that country.

That's why they call it dope.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Americans are still Americans when they express their 1st Amendment. Alex Jones 1st amendments just cost him $4 million with more to come.

Is protesting during the national anthem a crime in America? The Flag Code but there are no punishments.

Racism is very much part of American culture like in some third-world countries.

People are forced to protest to gain their rights and take the knee or BLM.

Four US police officers are facing federal charges over the fatal 2020 shooting of Kentucky woman Breonna Taylor.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

she claimed she would not be standing on the court for the national anthem at all this year

but now she wants her country to help her out of this mess that she’s in

2 ( +9 / -7 )

This guy got 14 years.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-61849579

“Russia sentences US teacher to 14 years for cannabis smuggling”

there goes the racism angle.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

Many American states allow the smoking and consumption of cannabis. Others allow the use of medical cannabis.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use as of April 2021.

Marijuana is the most commonly used federally illegal drug in the United States; 48.2 million people, or about 18% of Americans, used it at least once in 2019.

Cannabis is only illegal in 11 states.

Travelers need to carefully check their luggage if they have taken cannabis.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

wallaceToday  10:36 am JST

Americans are still Americans when they express their 1st Amendment. Alex Jones 1st amendments just cost him $4 million with more to come.

Is protesting during the national anthem a crime in America? The Flag Code but there are no punishments.

Racism is very much part of American culture like in some third-world countries.

People are forced to protest to gain their rights and take the knee or BLM.

Four US police officers are facing federal charges over the fatal 2020 shooting of Kentucky woman Breonna Taylor.

I like tea, rock and roll, and a few other British imports.

Unfortunately, slavery and racism brought over to the States from the UK was a forced import.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I like tea, rock and roll, and a few other British imports.

> Unfortunately, slavery and racism brought over to the States from the UK was a forced import.

I must have missed that in the article, but what does it have to do with me?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Cannabis is only illegal in 11 states

Yet there are tens of thousands of Americans locked up for cannabis "crimes".

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Vape pen not a big deal, you say?

10 years:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-59480290

you respect the laws of countries you visit and especially those who pay you a million dollars to bounce a ball.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Griner should've gotten out of Dodge much sooner when the Russian war drums were beating at fever pitch. She also should have left without any cannabis product, if it was really hers and not planted by the Russians. Still, she, and any other Americans buzzing around there, should have left there earlier. A good lesson for Americans still in China is to get out now while it's still possible, or you might be imprisoned for some bogus charge and be paraded around on the evening news.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Americans are still Americans when they express their 1st Amendment. Alex Jones 1st amendments just cost him $4 million with more to come.

Jones has nothing to do with this woman.

Is protesting during the national anthem a crime in America?

Not a crime, but if you want to make a statement do it on your own time.

Racism is very much part of American culture like in some third-world countries.

Not just America, but the entire world, always has been and always will.

>

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

“I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates,”

What about calling on her to respect the laws of her host country and to learn to accept the consequences of her bad actions with dignity and remorse, not victimhood.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

wallaceToday  11:03 am JST

40% of U.S. drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses.

Marijuana is still illegal in the UK in 2020. It spends £1bn a year to fight the rampant use of the drug.

In almost every US state cannabis or a derivative of it is legal.

Brittany had so much liberty in the US--right to free speech, right to use cannabis, and she decided Russia offered a better opportunity.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

When people say "She was carrying drugs!" it sounds like she was a mule and engaging in trafficking.

In reality, it was residue in a vape that amounted to less then 1 gram.

No, the reality here is she is being held as a hostage along with the other guy. (And yet the usual suspects seek to deflect and make equivalence where none exists.)

The Russians are using kidnapping under the guise of law enforcement as an instrument of state policy.

The Putin Regime is trying to take Americans captive in order to trade them for actual criminals. (Again this is ok for the Putin Fan-bois).

Another reality is that the Russians were targeting Americans for detention. If it hadn't been this, it would have been something else. If it hadn't been her, it would have been someone else.

Americans should (and not for just this reason, there are a whole host of reasons) avoid travel to Putin's Russia at all costs. They (we) should be advised that if detained the US will not trade Russians in US custody for our freedom (the waiver that one signs when visiting the inside of a US prison is a particularly apt analogy).

And I know we can't do this because unlike Russia, America is a country of laws (for now anyway) but....

Wouldn't it be nice to let the Merchant of Death take a trip to Camp X-Ray in Gitmo until Ms Griner is home?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

And I know we can't do this because unlike Russia, America is a country of laws (for now anyway)

Too funny

The Putin Regime is trying to take Americans captive in order to trade them for actual criminals. (Again this is ok for the Putin Fan-bois).

I wouldn't disagree entirely.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

BG is clearly GUILTY & should likely serve time in russia, perhaps 3-5yrs based on similar cases, end of story really, she needs to be ACCOUNTABLE for her actions!

She is actually very LUCKY that the US might trade a russian murderer for her release......., to be sure russia sentencing her to 9yrs is to get the US to do the swap, again she is actually VERY LUCKY!!!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

painkiller

wallace

40% of U.S. drug arrests in 2018 were for marijuana offenses.

Marijuana is still illegal in the UK in 2020. It spends £1bn a year to fight the rampant use of the drug.

Why are posting about the UK, not in the article and having nothing to do with my posts?

In almost every US state cannabis or a derivative of it is legal.

How does that explain the hundreds of thousands of arrests every year, and the many hundreds of thousands in prisons for drugs?

So do you actually support the personal use of cannabis?

Brittany had so much liberty in the US--right to free speech, right to use cannabis, and she decided Russia offered a better opportunity.

I guess you must have decided the same and moved to Japan because it offered you greater third-world opportunities than what you had in the US.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Well compared to Japanese prisons she can wear glasses, Russian Prisons are softer then Japanese prisons. Who would have thought.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

When things do not go in the American way. It is politically motivated.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Another dumb American thinking that just because it’s ok in the USA, doesn’t mean it’s ok everywhere else.

she knew what she was doing, and I can’t help but think she’s using the medical diagnosis excuse, to try and circumvent the law. When they’re real sick people who really need this.

count herself lucky she’s not in Singapore.

The punishment is a bit excessive though.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

"Griner testified she was aware cannabis oil was outlawed in Russia".

She intentionally attempted to smuggle the illegal drugs into the country. Foolish choice that results in harsh punishment. Don't feel sorry for her.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

She went to play basketball in Russia because she felt disrespected in the US playing in the WNBA for what she thought was a low salary.

She was getting paid $1 million a year in Russia.

She was under a three year contract that paid $664,544. Her average annual salary for the 2021 WNBA season was $221,515. With bonuses and promotional income she could make at most $500,000 per year. By comparison the median NBA player earns a salary in the range of $2 - $2.5 million with star players earning upwards of $40 million per year. Considering she was a seven time all star player and led US "Dream Teams" to the Olympics three times she is the female equivalent of LeBron James or Kevin Durant. Even that $1 million the Russian team paid her is chump change compared to what a male with her talent would earn.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

What I wonder about is if she has brought these to Russia in the past and there was no problem?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I don't smoke or use vapes but if two vape containers were full of cannabis oil, how many grams would that be?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Another dumb American thinking that just because it’s ok in the USA, doesn’t mean it’s ok everywhere else.

She was dumb for doing what she did, but that has nothing to do with her being American.

she knew what she was doing, and I can’t help but think she’s using the medical diagnosis excuse, to try and circumvent the law. When they’re real sick people who really need this. 

I agree.

count herself lucky she’s not in Singapore.

I definitely agree!!

The punishment is a bit excessive though.

I think so as well.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

she is the female equivalent of LeBron James or Kevin Durant. 

not "equivalent", no.

which means worse than every male player in the NBA and likely most male college players.

If not, then go play in the NBA, right?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Griner sent a personal appeal to Biden, and more than 1,100 Black female leaders urged the administration to “make a deal to get Brittney back home swiftly and safely and to meet with Brittney’s wife Cherelle immediately.”

I wonder if she contacted any white female leaders? No? Why not?

wallaceToday  11:44 am JST

So do you actually support the personal use of cannabis?

Where legal. As do you.

I guess you must have decided the same and moved to Japan because it offered you greater third-world opportunities than what you had in the US.

Comparing Japan with Russia z?

Desert TortoiseToday  12:15 pm JST

Considering she was a seven time all star player and led US "Dream Teams" to the Olympics three times she is the female equivalent of LeBron James or Kevin Durant. 

Let's digest this gem.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I don't smoke or use vapes but if two vape containers were full of cannabis oil, how many grams would that be?

how about to start smoking illegal drugs, and go to Russia with a few containers, which is strict on drug smugglers, pat the cute drug sniffer dog on the head and say, I’m American, you can’t touch me!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Rodney

how about an answer instead?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

she needs to be ACCOUNTABLE for her actions!

She pleaded guilty to her crime and even said in her closing statement that her parents taught her to take ownership for her mistakes. This is the only thing out of this whole case that makes me commend her. The whole "wrongfully detained" narrative is being pushed by media, politicians, NBA and WNBA along with the activists. All this pressure does is give Russia more leverage in what they will get back if they decide to trade. In the end, it will be the worst trade in basketball history.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Affluent basketball star Griner is lucky to enjoy such a high celebrity profile which should mean she will soon be home after Biden works out a deal with the Russians. The draconian sentence she received is just absurd, but let's not forget that tens of thousands of American citizens, black , brown and poor white have suffered similar disproportionate punishment for non-violent crimes in Amerika's egregious two-tier (in)justice system. Let's hope she and the other political prisoner, Mr Whelan, can soon be released and sent back home to their families. It's a great pity that so few people are aware of the fact that drug laws cause far more suffering to millions than the drugs themselves. The scourge of despicable, ignorant or hypocritical power-hungry politicians is the reason few societies in the world have enlightened laws that recognize the reality of human beings' relationship with drugs and the criminality that the illegal status of drugs and illiberal legislation foster.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Jesus everybody’s making her sound like she was a high-level drug dealer with tons of drugs in her bags. She had a vaping device with less than 1 g of cannabis oil left in it. She said she threw a bunch of stuff in her suitcase to pack in a hurry. It’s not that difficult to believe that this device was thrown/kept in her suitcase by accident.

It reminds me of the woman who came from the States to Japan with bullets (A few not boxes and boxes ) in her bag. Yes it’s illegal, but I think we can all agree it was a matter of forgetting it was in the bag when packing. That woman was deported back to the US when the bullets were discovered, same thing should’ve happened in this case.

Of course this was a political stunt by Putin to redirect domestic eyes off of Ukraine and to use her as a bargaining chip.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

People keep saying good thing she wasn’t caught in Singapore, but trafficking in Singapore for cannabis is over 15 g. The death penalty is for over 500 g. According to the government website, penalties lower than the death penalty (so having 0.1 to 499 g ) are from 24 lashes with a cane whip up to life in prison. Seeing that she had less than 1 g of cannabis oil, I highly doubt she would have gotten anywhere close to nine years as she did in Russia, if any prison time longer than the trial at all. Probably cane lashings and time served

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

qazwsxToday  01:54 pm JST

Jesus everybody’s making her sound like she was a high-level drug dealer with tons of drugs in her bags. She had a vaping device with less than 1 g of cannabis oil left in it. She said she threw a bunch of stuff in her suitcase to pack in a hurry. It’s not that difficult to believe that this device was thrown/kept in her suitcase by accident.

It reminds me of the woman who came from the States to Japan with bullets (A few not boxes and boxes ) in her bag. Yes it’s illegal, but I think we can all agree it was a matter of forgetting it was in the bag when packing. That woman was deported back to the US when the bullets were discovered, same thing should’ve happened in this case.

Of course this was a political stunt by Putin to redirect domestic eyes off of Ukraine and to use her as a bargaining chip.

It doesn't make a difference if it was accidentally packed or not. It's irrelevant and not a legitimate excuse. 1 gram or 10 grams. Doesn't matter. Their laws. This wasn't her first time going to Russia. She's been there several times before. There are like 10 WNBA players who also play in Russia. None of them have ever been detained and arrested so saying that it's a political move is a bunch of BS. She was detained and arrested for bringing in drugs that are illegal in Russia. No conspiracy theory. But what's a travesty is that the US will have to give up scumbag arms dealers Viktor Bout to bring her back

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I forgot. I was in a hurry. I didn’t “intend” to do it. It’s not really “much” drugs. I don’t know how it happened.

no one would ever be convicted of any crime, ever.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The attorney said her client doesn’t do drugs.

But continued to say that if she did it was only in the off season or short vacation periods. And only with a doctor prescription.

so she…..does do drugs then?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

of course I have, Im not Jesus.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

what i did not do is take illegal drugs to a foreign country and be a rabid hater of my own country. yet then expect my country to come save me. not because of actual innocence, but just because of my race, sexual orientation, who I voted for, and some ability to dribble a basketball.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Good.

Keep her for the nine years.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

 with JUST enough cannabis stuck to a vape pen to let mini-me kidnap her.

did you miss the part where she pled guilty to the crime and apologized?

kidnapped, huh?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

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