Brittney Griner Calls Out Russian Officials While Testifying in Court

by Nick Geddes

WNBA star Brittney Griner appeared in a Russian courtroom Wednesday to testify after being arrested on Feb. 17 for drug possession.

Griner, 31, said she wasn’t read her rights when Russian officials arrested her at a Moscow airport. Griner said through a translator that while she was told where to go, officials failed to explain what was happening.

“I remember one time there was a stack of papers that [the translator] needed to translate for me. He took a brief look and then said the exact words were, ‘Basically you are guilty,’ ” Griner testified, via The Washington Post.

She was detained for being in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil. Griner pleaded guilty to the charges and is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Brittney Griner Reveals What Happened the Day of the Arrest

Griner described the translation services offered to her through her detainment as “inadequate.” As she did during her plea, Griner accepted responsibility for the incident but emphasized that she didn’t intend to break the law. Griner said she was stressed at the time of packing and recovering from a then-recent COVID-19 diagnosis, which required her to take a test before boarding the plane.

Griner said she rushed while packing, but still doesn’t “understand how they [cannabis oil] ended up in her bag.” On July 15, Griner’s lawyers presented evidence to the court showing that Griner had a medical prescription to medical cannabis to treat a “chronic injury.”

She continued with her testimony Wednesday, saying she did not receive access to a lawyer upon her arrest. Per the Associated Press, Griner was forced to sign documents without being told what they meant.

Calls for Griner’s release have come from far and wide – with athletes such as LeBron James chiming in. Griner herself penned a letter to President Joe Biden earlier this month, asking not to be forgotten.