“I wish 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 mentioned in her assertion. “I wish to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at house, the superb girls of the WNBA, and my superb partner again at house.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each doable avenue” to deliver her house.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she may be together with her spouse, family members, pals, and teammates,” Biden mentioned in a assertion. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each doable avenue to deliver Brittney and Paul Whelan house safely as quickly as doable.”
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched a joint assertion condemning the decision.
“Immediately’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unlucky, however not surprising 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 tip of this means of lastly bringing BG house to the US.”
Griner beforehand testified that she used hashish oil prescribed by her physician to deal with ache from sports activities accidents, however had packed her baggage 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 baggage 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 weren’t learn to her when she was first arrested and that she didn’t obtain correct translation companies through the investigation.
In a letter written to Biden final month, Griner mentioned she was “terrified” she could be held in a Russian jail eternally.
“I understand you might be coping with a lot, however please don’t overlook about me and the opposite American Detainees,” she mentioned. “Please do all you may to deliver us house.”
Colas, Griner’s agent, mentioned 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 obtainable instruments,” Colas mentioned. “We should stay centered and unified. This can be a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal achieved to deliver People house will likely be laborious, however it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”
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