Brittney Griner Makes Final Plea to Courtroom Before Verdict: ‘I Made An Honest Mistake’

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Brittney Griner has likely made her last plea to the Russian courtroom before the expected verdict in her trial. The WNBA star reiterated her stance all along that she had accidentally packed vaporizer cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

“I never meant to hurt anybody,” Griner said, via Yahoo! Sports. “I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population or break any laws here. I made an honest mistake and hope your ruling doesn’t end my life here.”

She continued: “I want to say again that I had no intention of breaking Russian laws. I had no intent. I did not conspire or plan to commit this crime.”

The 31-year-old currently faces up to 10 years in prison under the charge of “large-scale transportation of drugs.” She has been behind bars for nearly six months after being arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17.

Brittney Griner Makes Numerous Apologies in Emotional Statement

Also in her final plea, Brittney Griner rattled off a list of people to whom she wanted to apologize.

“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,” Griner said, via the Associated Press. “I want to also apologize to my parents and my siblings. As well as the Phoenix Mercury organization, the amazing women of the WNBA and my amazing spouse back at home.”

A verdict will likely come later today. The Moscow court met this morning and asked for prosecutors to convict Griner and sentence her to 9 1/2 years in prison.

If – or more likely when – Griner is convicted and sentenced, a prisoner swap could take place between the United States and Russia. The U.S. said it would be willing to send Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for her and Paul Whelan. Griner has been imprisoned since February 17, while Whelan has been behind bars in Russia since 2018.