WNBA star Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian prison where she had been held since October. Griner, who plays center for the Phoenix Mercury, was arrested while on a trip to Russia, where she plays professionally during the WNBA off-season.
Griner was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, which is illegal in Russia. She had been held in a Russian prison since her arrest, and her case had been widely covered in the media.
The WNBA and the Phoenix Mercury had been working to secure Griner’s release, and they issued a statement upon her release. “We are thrilled that Brittney has been released and is on her way home. Brittney is a valued member of the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA family, and we are grateful for the efforts of everyone who worked to secure her release,” the statement read.
Griner’s arrest had caused concern among her fans and the basketball community, as she faced the possibility of a long prison sentence in Russia. The laws in Russia are known to be strict, and possession of marijuana can carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years.
Griner’s release came after a Russian court found her guilty of possession of marijuana, but reduced her sentence to a fine of $200. She was released on the same day and is now on her way back to the United States.
The incident highlights the importance of being aware of the laws and cultural norms of other countries and the potential consequences of breaking them. It also serves as a reminder of the challenges that professional athletes can face when playing abroad.