Before sentencing she issued a statement to the court apologizing for her actions and asking for mercy.
She said, “I want to apologize to my teammates, my club, my fans and the city of (Yekaterinburg) for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I brought on them.”
“I want to also apologize to my parents, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury organization back at home, the amazing women of the WNBA, and my amazing spouse back at home,” she continued. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling it doesn’t end my life here.”
The United States government believes Griner has been wrongfully detained.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed the press at the end of July telling them, “In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us: the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who have been wrongfully detained and must be allowed to come home.”
He also confirmed that he and the Biden administration are attempting to secure her release and offered Russia a “substantial proposal” weeks ago.
“We put a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release,” he said. “Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal. And I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and, I hope, move us toward a resolution.”
Numerous reports indicate that proposal involves a prisoner swap for convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout and former Marine Paul Whelan.
The New York Times reported, “The Biden administration has offered to free the imprisoned Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to secure the release of Brittney Griner and Paul N. Whelan, two Americans imprisoned in Russia who the State Department says were wrongfully detained, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.”
CNN also reported, “After months of internal debate, the Biden administration has offered to exchange Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms trafficker serving a 25-year US prison sentence, as part of a potential deal to secure the release of two Americans held by Russia, Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan, according to people briefed on the matter.”
Reuters also notes, “One source familiar with the situation said that Washington was willing to exchange convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout, whose life helped inspire the 2005 Hollywood film Lord of War starring Nicholas Cage.
Former President Donald Trump is not a fan of the proposed prisoner swap. He appeared on The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show where he shared his thoughts.
“[Griner] went in there loaded up with drugs into a hostile territory, where they are very vigilant about drugs. They don’t like drugs. And she got caught. And now we’re supposed to get her out,” President Trump said.
“And she makes, you know, a lot of money, I guess. But we’re supposed to get her out for an absolute killer and one of the biggest arms dealers in the world, killed many Americans, killed many people,” President Trump continued. “And he’s going to get a free card and we’re going to get her.”
“She knew you don’t go in there loaded up with drugs and she admitted. I assume she admitted it without too much force because it is what it is,” President Trump elaborated.
He then declared, “And it certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade does it. He’s an absolute, one of the worst in the world, and he’s going to be given his freedom because a potentially spoiled person goes into Russia loaded up with drugs.”
What do you make of the Russian court finding Griner guilty?