Lawyer Shares Update on Brittney Griner’s Well-Being After Russian Trial Verdict, Sentence

by Bryan Fyalkowski

Brittney Griner learned her fate yesterday, as she was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling after a lengthy trial in Russian court. The judge then sentenced her to nine years in prison.

In the hours after, you could imagine Griner is not in good spirits. Her lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, shared an update on her client to reporters covering the trial.

“She is very upset, very stressed,” Blagovolina said. “She can hardly talk, honestly. It’s a difficult time for her.”

She continued: “When we saw Brittney on Tuesday, we told her, ‘See you on Thursday’. And she said, ‘See you on doomsday.’ And it looks like she was right.”

According to the Daily Mail, Griner’s nine-year sentence will be carried out in a penal colony. Penal colonies can be described nicely as “settlements established for punishing criminals by forced labor and isolation from society,” or more accurately as “friendly concentration camps.”

The judge, Anna Sotnikova, said the five-plus months Griner has already served in custody since her arrest on February 17 will count toward the sentence.

WNBA Teams ‘Stand in Solidarity’ for Brittney Griner Before Game

Brittney Griner’s WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, coincidentally had a game last night after the verdict and sentencing were announced. The Mercury and Connecticut Sun stood in solidarity at half court for 42 seconds (Griner wore No. 42 on Phoenix) prior to tip-off.

After the Sun beat the Mercury by a score of 77-64, Phoenix head coach Vanessa Nygaard shared her feelings about Griner’s situation.

“We knew this was coming, we’ve been prepared for it,” she said, via “We know we weren’t hanging our hopes on the Russian justice system.”

The 47-year-old coach went on to explain what the day looked like for the Mercury team as they prepared to face Connecticut later that night.

“We were literally getting ready to come out for shootaround today when this was going on. Players were watching it,” Nygaard said. “It’s such an emotional day for us. We’re going to go out and play this game, but, like, how can we have our focus on this game?”