“I wish to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers, and the town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” Griner mentioned in her assertion. “I wish to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at house, the wonderful girls of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner again at house.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each attainable avenue” to carry her house.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she will be along with her spouse, family members, buddies, and teammates,” Biden mentioned in a statement. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each attainable avenue to carry Brittney and Paul Whelan house 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 mentioned. “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 house to america.”
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 carry them to Russia, the place she was enjoying within the WNBA offseason. “As they ended up in my luggage by chance, I take duty, 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 mentioned she was “terrified” she could be held in a Russian jail perpetually.
“I notice you’re coping with a lot, however please don’t neglect about me and the opposite American Detainees,” she mentioned. “Please do all you may to carry us house.”
Colas, Griner’s agent, mentioned they appreciated the Biden administration’s efforts to carry basketball star and Whelan again to the US.
“Bringing Brittney and Paul house is the only goal, and as such, we must always use all out there instruments,” Colas mentioned. “We should stay targeted and unified. This can be a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal achieved to carry Individuals house will probably be onerous, however it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”