WASHINGTON D.C. – The Biden Administration has offered the Russian government a deal to bring controversial WNBA star Brittany Griner, who was arrested on drug charges and is being held in Russia, home.
According to information ESPN, the deal was offered a few weeks ago and the specifics have not been released. This is the first time the U.S. has publically revealed plans to secure Griner’s release. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is hoping to speak with the Kremlin for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Russia could ask for the release of the “Merchant of Death”, Viktor Bout in return for releasing Griner. In 2012, Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a scheme to sell millions of dollars in weapons illegally.
Griner was detained and arrested in Russia for possession of hashish oil in February. In early July, Griner wrote President Biden asking for help and telling him she voted for him.
Today, Griner was in the Russian court saying that she does not know how the vape cartridges got into her bag but that she was packing quickly.
Many athletes in the United States have called for Griner's release. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe said at the ESPY awards, "I think honestly what we've witnessed tonight is the importance of sport and how much we can bring and how much we can get done in the world with our collective power. Every time we say her name, it puts pressure on everyone, puts pressure on the administration, puts pressure on Russia. The most striking thing is that BG isn't here. BG deserves to be free."
NBA superstar LeBron James wondered why Griner would even want to come back to the United States. On the show "The Shop: Uninterrupted" James said, "Now, how can she feel like America has her back? I would be feeling like, 'Do I even want to go back to America?'"