Social Media Reaction Shows Split Feelings Following Brittney Griner’s Sentencing in Russia

by Patrick Norton

A Russian court found WNBA star Brittney Griner guilty of drug possession with criminal intent on Thursday. The court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison with a fine over $10,000. However, the length of her actual stay depends almost solely on the United States and Russia governments agreeing to terms of a deal.

With the expected news that Griner’s stay would continue past today’s sentencing hearing, many folks are chiming in online to voice strong opinions on both sides of the fence. Some show unwavering support for the WNBA superstar. Others continue to bash Griner’s actions, sharing that the entire situation stems from an avoidable arrest.

One podcast host points out the obvious: this is no longer solely about Brittney Griner. Her criminal actions have completely meshed into the mess that is the relationship between Russia and the United States.

Just last week, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke on the Griner situation, mentioning a future phone call between Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The contents of the phone call would not discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the call’s focus solely eyed Brittney Griner’s release. News later swirled that the United States would offer U.S. prisoner Viktor Bout – known as the Merchant of Death – in exchange for Griner’s release with another prisoner.

One verified Twitter user says, “I just want her back in the states.” However, that sentiment – while popular – does not represent everybody’s feelings. But in the same vein, bringing home American prisoners from foreign countries should always take precedence.”

Twitter Reacts to Brittney Griner’s Harsh Sentencing

One platform user believes Griner received a fair trial in the Russian kangaroo court. However, Sergey Lavrov’s admission that the countries could come to an agreement discredits the notion Griner represents anything other than a political prisoner.

Former Houston Chronicle reporter and current OutKick host John McClain shared thanks for the freedom of the United States. Furthermore, McClain reminds us that while Griner has made unsavory comments about the country in the past, she is still an American. Additionally, fans enjoyed watching her dominate at Baylor in her college days.

But while Brittney Griner remains in custody in a Russian prison, the opinions keep flowing. However, as the takes fly, it’s important to remember the people held captive are Americans.

The entire situation brings to light our faith in democracy, freedom and liberty the United States provides. The contrast between the United States and foreign enemies rages on, even in the country’s periods of peace. Remind yourself of the United States Constitution’s preamble when given the opportunity.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”