Brittney Griner’s guilty plea Thursday has not lessened the support the Olympic gold medalist continues to receive from her WNBA peers.
The Phoenix Mercury All-Star pleaded guilty to drug possession charges on the second day of her trial in a Russian court in a case that could see her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. The chance of Griner being convicted were considered extremely high before her plea.
“The WNBPA stands with Brittney Griner. With a 99% conviction rate, Russia’s process is its own. You can’t navigate it or even understand it like our own legal system,” WNBAPA Executive Director Terri Jackson said in a statement. “What we do know is that the U.S. State Department determined that Brittney Griner was wrongfully detained for a reason and we’ll leave it at that.”
Speaking through an interpreter, Griner told the court that she had no intention of committing a crime and had acted unintentionally because she had packed for Moscow in a hurry. The trial was then adjourned until July 14.
Griner emphasized “that she had committed this act through negligence, unintentionally,” her lawyer, Maria Blagovolina, told reporters outside the court near Moscow following the guilty plea.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Englebert issued a statement saying the league is continuing its effort to aide in Griner’s release.
“Brittney Griner remains wrongfully detained in Russia and nothing that happened today changes that 140 days later,” Englebert said. “The WNBA continues to work diligently with the U.S. State Department, the White House, and other allies in and outside government to get Brittney home safely and as soon as possible.
“She has the wholehearted and unconditional support of the entire WNBA and NBA family, who eagerly await her safe return, and the league will recognize BG as an honorary starter at this weekend’s WNBA All-Star Game.”
“She has the wholehearted and unconditional support of the entire WNBA and NBA family, who eagerly await her safe return, and the league will recognize BG as an honorary starter at this weekend’s WNBA All-Star Game.”[ad_2]