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WNBA Star Brittney Griner Shares Harrowing Tale of Russian Detention in Emotional Interview

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Shares Harrowing Tale of Russian Detention in Emotional Interview

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Shares Harrowing Tale of Russian Detention in Emotional Interview. In a gripping and emotional interview set to air on ABC’s ’20/20,’ WNBA star Brittney Griner reveals the harrowing details of her nearly 10-month-long detention in Russia. Griner, a nine-time WNBA All-Star, speaks candidly about the harsh prison conditions and her struggle to cope with being jailed for possession of vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.


Griner, 33, recounts her experience inside a Russian penal colony, where she was detained after Russian customs officials found a vape cartridge of hashish oil in her luggage at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February 2022. Despite maintaining that she brought the cannabis oil into the country unintentionally, Griner pleaded guilty to drug possession.


During her interview with Robin Roberts, Griner became emotional as she described feeling frightened due to the uncertainty surrounding her detention.


My life is over right here,” Griner remembered thinking as she realized the severity of her situation.



Griner’s lawyer revealed that she made the decision to cut her long hair while in Russian custody because it would freeze when wet in the cold conditions of the penal colony. Additionally, Griner disclosed that the mattress in her cell had a huge bloodstain on it, and she was deprived of basic necessities like soap and toilet paper.


The athlete admitted to experiencing suicidal ideation while in custody, describing a moment when she felt “less than human” due to the deplorable conditions she faced. Throughout her detention, her wife Cherelle Griner made impassioned pleas for her release, meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden prior to the prisoner swap that led to Griner’s release on December 8, 2022.


Griner’s ordeal sparked international concern, particularly among LGBTQ2 advocates, as she was jailed in a country known for its hostility towards gay and queer individuals. That was a real tough situation. As a lesbian athlete, Griner’s detention raised alarm bells, prompting calls for her safe return home.


The upcoming ’20/20′ special, titled “Prisoner in Russia: The Brittney Griner Interview,” will feature interviews with Griner’s wife Cherelle, her agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas, and Special Presidential Envoy of Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens. It will provide viewers with a comprehensive look into Griner’s journey from detention to freedom and her subsequent return to professional basketball with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury team.


In addition to the interview, Griner is set to release a memoir titled “Coming Home,” which chronicles her experience in Russian custody. The memoir is scheduled to be available on May 7, offering further insight into her tumultuous journey.


WNBA star Brittney Griner’s journey has been marked by resilience and triumph. As a nine-time All-Star, she has dominated the basketball court, showcasing her exceptional skills and athleticism. Despite facing adversity, including her recent ordeal in Russian detention, Griner returned to the sport she loves, continuing her career with the Phoenix Mercury. Her remarkable story inspires us all to never give up on our dreams.


Despite the challenges she faced, Griner has shown resilience and determination. In May 2023, she returned to professional basketball, continuing her career with the Phoenix Mercury. Furthermore, Griner and her wife Cherelle recently announced that they are expecting their first child together, due in July 2024, marking a new chapter of hope and happiness for the couple.


The interview with Brittney Griner on ’20/20′ promises to be a poignant and revealing account of her struggle for survival and her unwavering strength in the face of adversity. It serves as a reminder of the importance of advocating for human rights and standing in solidarity with those who face injustice around the world.


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