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    WNBA Brittney Griner Detained In Russia For Vape Cartridges

    WNBA star Britteny Griner is currently being detained in Russia for having found vaping cartridges by customs officials, per ESPN . Near Moscow, late February is when this initially took place, reported by New York Times. Yet, this has recently just touched the surface in America. The Russian Federal Customs Service alleged they search Griners’ luggage and found the cartridges derived from cannabis. In Russia, this crime can carry a maximum of 10 years in prison. Although there was no mention of Griner specifically. Instead, they addressed the detained person as a player for the U.S. women’s team.

    “We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her. Her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA,” Lindsay Kagawa Colas, Griner’s agent with Wasserman Group, told ESPN via a statement Saturday. “As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case. But we can confirm that as we work to get her home; her mental and physical health remain our primary concern.”

    Many may not understand, many WNBA players during the offseason tend to play overseas because of the lack of funds the WNBA provides their superstars with. Although Griner continues to get ridiculed for traveling to Russia, her livelihood literally depends on her abilities.

    The State Department issued an advisory for Russia in late January. This advisory warned Americans against traveling to Russia because of “the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens, the embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19, and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law,” reported Voepel for ESPN.

    Politics playing a big issue even in sports

    Many theories suggest that they are holding Griner simply for political gain and bargaining power. As of late, an issuing of a new travel advisory just nine days after Russia decided to invade Ukraine has come out.

    “An increasing number of airlines are canceling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available.”

    This past week many WNBA players in Russia fled the country as the invasion began to become a reality. Other than Griner, all other WNBA players who were competing in Russia or Ukraine have safely returned.

    “We are aware of the situation in Russia concerning one of our members, Brittney Griner. Our utmost concern is BG’s safety and well-being,” the WNBA players’ union said in a statement to ESPN on Saturday. “On behalf of The 144, we send our love and support. We will continue to closely monitor and look forward to her return to the U.S.”

    Support Griner’s received from other WNBA players and loved ones

    Griner’s wife, Cherelle, thanked people for their “prayers and support” during what she called “one of the weakest moments of my life.”

    “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia,” she wrote. “Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”

    “Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” the league said in a statement to ESPN.

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