Petition Demands White House Do More to Free WNBA Star Brittney Griner from Russian Jail

Brittney Griner
AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

WNBA player Brittney Griner has spent nearly four months in detention in Russia after being charged with drug trafficking, and now a petition is demanding that the White House stop ignoring the player’s case and get more active in urging Russia to release her.

Griner was detained at a Moscow airport in February for allegedly having vaping cartridges in her luggage that authorities said contained cannabis oils. For weeks, Russian authorities refused to say precisely when Griner was arrested, and she has been out of touch with her family and friends since her arrest.

Griner was in Russia to play with the Russian women’s basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg and was one of the last American athletes to attempt to leave Russia in the wake of that nation’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine and the State Department’s subsequent warning to get out of Russia.

Brittney Griner

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner (Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)

To date, neither the White House nor the Department of State has done very much to pressure the Russians to release the player. Though on May 3, the DOS did issue a notice contending that the U.S. government feels that Griner was wrongfully detained.

At last, after nearly four months, Griner’s supporters have had enough of the Biden administration’s foot-dragging. A petition has been launched to try and get the government to get more active in affecting Griner’s release.

The petition has gained steam quickly and by press time had already earned 133,000 signatures of the hoped-for 150,000.

It seems a bit hard to believe that Griner’s case is not a national headline, but the media does not seem to have paid a lot of attention to her plight. And whether you enjoy women’s basketball or not, it seems outrageous that an American citizen is being held in a Russian jail for “oils” in a vaping cartridge and charged as if she is smuggling mass quantities of dangerous drugs.

It is also odd that the left-wing Biden administration is not trying to move heaven and earth to get a famous female pro basketball player back home.

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