“I need to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers, and town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” Griner stated in her assertion. “I need to additionally apologize to my dad and mom, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at residence, the superb ladies of the WNBA, and my superb partner again at residence.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each attainable avenue” to deliver her residence.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she may be together with her spouse, family members, mates, and teammates,” Biden stated in a statement. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each attainable avenue to deliver Brittney and Paul Whelan residence safely as quickly as attainable.”
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched a joint assertion condemning the decision.
“As we speak’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unlucky, however not sudden and Brittney Griner stays wrongly detained,” they stated. “The WNBA and NBA’s dedication to her protected return has not wavered and it’s our hope that we’re close to the top of this strategy of lastly bringing BG residence to the USA.”
Griner beforehand testified that she used hashish oil prescribed by her physician to deal with ache from sports activities accidents, however had packed her luggage in a rush and didn’t imply to deliver them to Russia, the place she was enjoying within the WNBA offseason. “As they ended up in my luggage by chance, I take accountability, however I didn’t intend to smuggle or plan to smuggle [illegal substances] to Russia,” she had testified on July 27.
Griner additionally complained that her rights were not read to her when she was first arrested and that she didn’t obtain correct translation companies throughout the investigation.
In a letter written to Biden final month, Griner stated she was “terrified” she may be held in a Russian jail eternally.
“I understand you might be coping with a lot, however please don’t neglect about me and the opposite American Detainees,” she stated. “Please do all you may to deliver us residence.”
Colas, Griner’s agent, stated they appreciated the Biden administration’s efforts to deliver basketball star and Whelan again to the US.
“Bringing Brittney and Paul house is the only real goal, and as such, we must always use all out there instruments,” Colas stated. “We should stay targeted and unified. This can be a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal achieved to deliver People residence can be laborious, however it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”