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    Cherrelle Griner, Brittney Griner’s Wife Claims She ‘Fears For Her Life’

    For seven years Brittney Griner has traveled to Russia to play the game she loves. Many WNBA players play overseas where they earn close to 4 or 5 times more money than they do in America. Griner played for UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia during the offseason. She has shined a positive light on women’s basketball and is a very loved individual in Russia. Sadly, the Russian court has not shown Griner the love the citizens do nor the love she has earned within these seven years.

    The WNBA star has now served approximately two months of her 9-year sentence in Russian prison. Since Griner’s sentence not much about her status or the progress of getting her back home has been made public. In an interview with Gayle King, Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle explains that Brittney is terrified for her life. She says Griner is at her weakest moment of life. This is Cherelle’s first interview since Griner’s conviction. This explains why the media hasn’t shared much information on Griner’s status.

    Case Recap

    Griner has been detained since February 17, after Russian officials found vape cartilages containing cannabis oils in her luggage. Interrogated without a lawyer in a foreign country the WNBA star was arrested and forced to sign unknown papers. In August, Griner was found guilty and convicted for drug charges. Griner provided the court with a letter explaining the use of cannabis for medical purposes regarding sports injuries. The oils were prescribed and inadvertently packed however  the Russian court showed no sympathy and still found her guilty.

    The punishment she is receiving for barely even a gram (0.7g) of medical marijuana, simply residue, leaves the public furious with the situation. Cherelle Griner believes the case should not be seen as unjust or unlawful but instead as the hostage situation it is. Due to the current relationship between Russia and the United States, Griner is receiving the negative backlash. She is being charged as a drug trafficker, receiving time and punishment that does not fit the crime she committed.

    Potential Prisoner Swap Option

    Throughout Griner’s case a prisoner swap had been discussed as a possible solution to getting Griner home safe. However, the swap is pending the cooperation of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

    The terms of the prisoner swap included both Griner and former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, detained in Russia since 2018. Both Griner and Whelan would be swapped for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, serving a 25-year sentence in America. Many people agree that Bout’s crimes are ten times worse than that of both American citizens being detained in Russia but it is one of the only options.

    Griner’s Verdict

    Due to the lack of progress being made with the prisoner swap option, Griner feels as though she has been forgotten. After recent phone conversations Cherelle says that Brittney is broken. Griner cried for two minutes on the phone with her wife. She also made statements such as “Does my life still matter? Do people still care?”

    Griner has an appeal hearing on October 25 where her legal team will work to persuade the court to change the decision of her 9-year sentence. Depending on the outcome of the hearing, she could be moved to a labor camp for the remaining of her sentence.

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