U.S. Senate Calling for Brittney Griner’s Release from Russian Detainment

by Nick Geddes

The U.S. Senate introduced a bipartisan resolution Thursday calling for the immediate release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from Russian detainment.

Per Josh Weinfuss of ESPN, the resolution calls for the U.S. to “raise the case of Brittney Griner and push for her release.” In addition, the resolution asks for the release of all “prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation.” Weinfuss reports that Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kristen Sinema of Arizona, Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Sen. John Cornyn of Texas created the resolution.

It was co-sponsored by 27 additional senators from both sides of the political aisle. Those who cosponsored include: Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

“I’ve worked with the State Department to make sure that Brittney Griner’s safe return is a top priority, and this bipartisan resolution shows the Senate’s support for her as well,” Kelly said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “Brittney Griner is an inspiration to Arizonans and Americans across the country. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her and seeing her talent on the court up close.

“The Russian government unjustly detained Brittney and we will keep working with the administration to ensure her safe and swift return.”

Brittney Griner Has Been in Russian Detainment Since February

Griner, 31, was detained on Feb. 17 for being in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil at a Russian airport. She pleaded guilty to charges two weeks ago. Griner faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the offense. The U.S. State Department classifies Griner as “wrongfully detained.”

Calls for her release have been aplenty, including from Griner herself. She penned a letter to President Joe Biden ahead of the Fourth of July, asking to be brought home. During the 2022 ESPYS Wednesday night, many athletes took the stage to bring light to Griner’s detainment.

United States Women’s National Soccer Team star Megan Rapinoe was especially outspoken on bringing Brittney Griner home.

“BG deserves to be free. She’s being held as a political prisoner, obviously,” Rapinoe said on stage. “Every time we see her face, every time we say her name … it puts pressure on everybody. It puts pressure on the administration, it puts pressure on Russia, it puts pressure on Putin. It let’s BG know we love her, we miss her and that we’re thinking about her all the time. We’re doing every single thing we can to get her out. That’s honestly the most important thing.”

Former MLB starting pitcher Curt Schilling, however, feels differently. Schilling wrote on Twitter Monday that Griner should have obeyed the laws of another country.

“I know this may seem like a stretch. But something like 300 million people understand “OBEY THE F—ING LAW”, why is that such a challenge?” Schilling wrote. “And why on earth should she NOT pay the penalty for breaking another country’s laws?”