WNBA's Brittney Griner arrested on drug charges in Russia UPDATE: sentenced to 9 years

barbk

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This case is quiet no more. The genteel diplomatic route was Plan A; it’s time for a louder Plan B, led by celebs like the Rev. Al Sharpton:


In the last couple of days, this has exploded in US mainstream news. Hope it works.
It depends on what we'd have to give up to create a trade. An arms dealer? I'd be pretty unhappy with that. Not supplying Ukraine with advanced weapons? That's also a no. What is a reasonable trade? I'm not sure.

I am sure that it is long past time for athletes and celebrities to get the message that the rules actually DO apply to them.
 

Karen-W

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It depends on what we'd have to give up to create a trade. An arms dealer? I'd be pretty unhappy with that. Not supplying Ukraine with advanced weapons? That's also a no. What is a reasonable trade? I'm not sure.

I am sure that it is long past time for athletes and celebrities to get the message that the rules actually DO apply to them.
Agreed. Additionally, we need to firmly tell Russia to stop the pretense that sport is separate from politics if they're making these sort of demands in exchange for an athlete.
 

Frau Muller

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Trial continued yesterday with witnesses from Brittney’s basketball team in Ekaterinburg testifying as to her good character.
 

canbelto

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He's so shitty. Just shut up:


“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs, and she admitted it,” Trump told the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show. “I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is, and it certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade, does it? He’s absolutely one of the worst in the world, and he’s gonna be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”
 

Sparks

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Speaking of Griner, somewhere up thread it was said that she shouldn't have brought "lots of drugs" if she didn't want this to happen. She brought in less than a gram of cannabis oil. This is basically residue on the vape pipe.
Right. It's not like she had pounds of heroin a la Midnight Express
 

Dobre

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She's being used as a hostage/trading piece.

That said, fyi, do NOT take pot into a country with a bad civil rights record. I have family members that were in the Peace Corps, and one of the things they were taught before they went to Latin America was to absolutely avoid the 3 "P"s. No pot. No politics. No pill (not discussing the latter, that is). While they were there a couple from their group disappeared. They later learned the couple had been thrown into prison for pot, and they could well have disappeared for good. (No right to use a phone, etc.)

Linking this thread that I ran across today about the Griner situation, just to give people a heads-up about a possible/unfeasible scenario:
 

barbk

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Speaking of Griner, somewhere up thread it was said that she shouldn't have brought "lots of drugs" if she didn't want this to happen. She brought in less than a gram of cannabis oil. This is basically residue on the vape pipe.
Literally nowhere on this thread did any poster say she shouldn't have brought (in) lots of drugs. You suggested that it might have been planted evidence. Do you still think so?
 

Winnipeg

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She admitted she had it so no "planting it." Having said that, she also had a medical authorization and proof of such for having it and again, it was almost a miniscule amount..............she is being used as a political pawn IMHO. The consequences she is facing are completely out of line with the crime. A simple fine or warning would have been enough.

I hope she gets out and the US keeps trying to arrange an exchange.
 

MacMadame

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Literally nowhere on this thread did any poster say she shouldn't have brought (in) lots of drugs.
I will take your word for it as I don't have the energy to go back and check every single post especially as I think it was someone I normally have on Ignore. Then again, it might have been a comment from the cesspool that is Twitter.

To me, it's illustrative of how people change the story in their minds to fit their pre-existing narrative. As in: Black people are druggies and criminals so obviously it couldn't have been some residue from a vape pipe she didn't clean out thoroughly. No, it was LOTS OF DRUGS.

You suggested that it might have been planted evidence. Do you still think so?
Why would I still think that when she admitted she accidentally brought it in? That would be silly. :lol:
 

barbk

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I will take your word for it as I don't have the energy to go back and check every single post especially as I think it was someone I normally have on Ignore. Then again, it might have been a comment from the cesspool that is Twitter.

To me, it's illustrative of how people change the story in their minds to fit their pre-existing narrative. As in: Black people are druggies and criminals so obviously it couldn't have been some residue from a vape pipe she didn't clean out thoroughly. No, it was LOTS OF DRUGS.


Why would I still think that when she admitted she accidentally brought it in? That would be silly. :lol:
OK, but this isn't twitter. (Thank God.)

And, your narrative changed, from speculating it was planted to acknowledging that she did bring it in.

Personally, I'd be every bit as disgusted if white, heterosexual Ryan Lochte had been as foolish. I wouldn't be hugely invested in trading a bad dude for Lochte any more than I'm interested in trading one for Griner's release. Griner f'd up, bigly.
 

Oreo

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I definitely was not a hippy, but I traveled overland a number of times between Turkey and India in the early 70s. This was the era of the Hippy Trail and when Billy Hayes, of Midnight Express fame, was arrested [and he was carrying hashish not heroin]. There were signs and warnings everywhere of exactly what the legal penalties would be if you were caught with various amounts of drugs. I remember being on a bus going between Iran and Afghanistan and there were numerous warning signs along the road saying to dump your drugs now--last chance! And up ahead was a prison that had all sorts of westerners in there on drug violations. My feeling at that time was if you're that dumb... It was also prudent to search your clothes and bags to make sure nobody planted anything on you. I've also been in Russia a number of times--not as many as Brittney Griner--but I certainly know what the consequences are for bringing in anything with even a slight appearance of looking questionable, and that's not just in Russia. As soon as you enter any country on earth, you're under their legal system--fair or unfair. In Brittney's case, probably someone will pay off a large sum of money to someone behind the scenes, her case will be "reevaluated," and she'll be let go.
 

MacMadame

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And, your narrative changed, from speculating it was planted to acknowledging that she did bring it in.
If my opinion didn't change when the facts changed, what kind of person would I be? 🤷

Personally, I'd be every bit as disgusted if white, heterosexual Ryan Lochte had been as foolish. I wouldn't be hugely invested in trading a bad dude for Lochte any more than I'm interested in trading one for Griner's release. Griner f'd up, bigly.
I don't agree that she "f'ed up, bigly." She made a minor mistake, most likely not realizing the vape pipe was still in her luggage due to packing in a rush (something she said she did -- pack in a rush) or maybe just not washing it out thoroughly. This is completely different from deliberately trying to smuggle drugs into the country.

The situation isn't as black & white as you are portraying it.
 

Judy

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barbk

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I don't agree that she "f'ed up, bigly." She made a minor mistake, most likely not realizing the vape pipe was still in her luggage due to packing in a rush (something she said she did -- pack in a rush) or maybe just not washing it out thoroughly. This is completely different from deliberately trying to smuggle drugs into the country.

The situation isn't as black & white as you are portraying it.
Do you realize what the penalty could be if she'd been found with the same stuff while entering Singapore? A "minor mistake" in the US isn't necessarily a "minor mistake" elsewhere.

I'll save my sympathy for those unjustly locked up in Russia for expressing anti-war sentiments.
 

Japanfan

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She made a minor mistake, most likely not realizing the vape pipe was still in her luggage due to packing in a rush (something she said she did -- pack in a rush) or maybe just not washing it out thoroughly. This is completely different from deliberately trying to smuggle drugs into the country.
Still, not a minor mistake in some countries.

I've heard that she could be part of a prisoner exchange.

Breaks my heart to think of her stuck in a Russian prison for nine years, but that probably isn't going to happen.
 

MacMadame

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Still, not a minor mistake in some countries.
It's not punished in as a minor crime. But it's still a minor mistake. Being a drug dealer is a major crime and a major mistake. Forgetting to clean out your vape pen or that it was in your bag is absolutely a minor mistake that anyone could make.

Griner wasn't smuggling drugs into Russia to sell. She wasn't trying to pull one over on the customs agents because she thought she was above the law. She screwed up. The fact that Russian law doesn't punish that kind of mistake appropriately doesn't make what she did worse. It makes their criminal justice system ****ed up.
 

Theatregirl1122

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It seems that it has been punished as a much more minor crime for other people in this same situation carrying quite a bit more drugs. As long as they weren’t famous and Russia wasn’t at war.
 

once_upon

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It seems that it has been punished as a much more minor crime for other people in this same situation carrying quite a bit more drugs. As long as they weren’t famous and Russia wasn’t at war.
I think there are also a couple of questions to ask

Why does she feels/felt the need to increase her income? We know there are huge disparities in women vs men professional sports.

Do NBA players feel the pressure to play in other countries to increase income?

Would this arrest happen if she was not openly out as gay?

I dont vape, I don't use cannabis but how many people actually rinse out vaping devices after use? How many know you should?

How much residue of cannabis is deposited in a vaping device after using??

How sensitive does a drug scanning device need to be to discover it in luggage?
 

millyskate

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Would this arrest happen if she was not openly out as gay?

I dont vape, I don't use cannabis but how many people actually rinse out vaping devices after use? How many know you should?

How much residue of cannabis is deposited in a vaping device after using??

How sensitive does a drug scanning device need to be to discover it in luggage?
In this case yes, I don't see the arrest was remotely related to who she is. She was picked out by a dog at the customs of an airport, the cannabis oil was found, and this is a criminal offence in Russia. Anyone would have been arrested for it.

As @Theatregirl1122 pointed out, it's mainly about timing - unfortunately the war broke out a few days later and she became a political pawn. Which wouldn't have had so much value if she wasn't so famous. So her sentence is much harsher than others previously caught in similar circumstances, although all received sentences that some here appear to find unjustified.

I know that cannabis is viewed as very trivial in certain parts of the world, but it's just not in others and I would not expect anyone with a vape pen containing cannabis residue to get past any border without trouble, to be honest. It's just something one does not do.
There are only a few basic rules when travelling through an airport, and not transporting drugs or weapons are the most important thing. How one can become complacent about cannabis to the point of forgetting one is transporting potential traces of it is somewhat hard for me to fathom, across the Russian border no less, but I guess it is what happened.
 

MsZem

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Why does she feels/felt the need to increase her income? We know there are huge disparities in women vs men professional sports.

Do NBA players feel the pressure to play in other countries to increase income?
ESPN looked at what some of Griner's UMMC Ekaterinburg teammates will be doing this year. WNBA salaries lag far behind NBA ones, and while they can certainly be livable, I'm sure the opportunity to earn more playing abroad is an appealing one.

Unlike the collegiate level, Title IX does not come into play and the WNBA doesn't generate the sort of $$$ the NBA does, thus the disparities. According to this NPR article, the NBA's revenue will be in the neighborhood of $10 billion this year, while the WNBA is under $100 million.

Would this arrest happen if she was not openly out as gay?
As I noted earlier in this thread, Griner's case is very reminiscent of that of Naama Issachar, an Israeli-American who is neither famous nor (to the best of my knowledge) gay. Both arrests and convictions strike me as opportunistic. Tom Nichols argues that Griner being gay, Black, and tattooed made her highly vulnerable in Russia - "the kind of defendant for whom the average Russian will have no sympathy":
 
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Frau Muller

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Any concrete steps taken in the past month to get Brittney released?

Maybe it’s time for a poll.

What will happen first?
(A) The release of Brittney Griner or…
(B) The awarding of medals for the 2022 Olympic figure skating Team Event?
 

Frau Muller

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This just came in to my news wire. I feel very bad for Brittney. I was expecting a possible peace offering.


Adding: Prisoner exchange may be the only real hope.
 
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