Big names in the world of sport and beyond share their reactions to Britney Grenier’s 9-year prison sentence

Britney Greiner holds the 2022 WNBA All-Stars photo wearing her name and number on their jerseys.Associated Press/Dmitriy Serebryakov

  • Britney Greiner was convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia.

  • The WNBA star was arrested in February after Moscow airport officials found cannabis in her luggage.

  • From top athletes to musicians and politicians, here’s how the world reacted to Greiner’s ruling.

Britney Greiner has been sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for drug smuggling for carrying e-cigarette cartridges in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

The WNBA star’s trial ended Thursday, with the judge handing down a guilty verdict along with a heavy handed sentence. Greiner has been in Russian custody since February, when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport after customs agents discovered e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bags.

Britney Greiner

Greiner escorts from a courtroom after her last words, in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia.AP Photo / Alexander Zemlianichenko

Over the course of July, Greiner and her legal team appealed for leniency after she pleaded guilty and pleaded guilty to the charges. Although the defense made a case that Greiner inadvertently brought the drugs in her bag and that she was prescribed medical marijuana back in the United States, the two-time Olympic gold medalist received a near-maximum penalty and now faces the prospect of spending nearly a decade in a Russian penal colony.

The contrasting finding sparked reactions from across the sports ecosystem and beyond. From basketball and soccer stars to politicians and musicians, here’s how the world responded to Greiner’s plight:

President Joe Biden quickly issued a statement criticizing the Russian judge’s ruling, calling on Russia to “release her immediately.”

Vice President Kamala Harris provided a memo confirming that the administration “is working every day to reunite Britney, as well as Paul Whelan, with their loved ones.”

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Grenier’s ruling and ruling “highlight our concerns about the Russian government’s use of unlawful detentions”.

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would “continue to support the administration” as it struggles to bring Grener and other unjustly detained Americans home.

Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland senator, called the decision a “miscarriage of justice.”

Senator Ted Cruz, of his native Texas, said he was “disappointed and deeply concerned” by the outcome of Thursday’s hearing.

Her fellow Phoenix Mercury star guard Skylar Diggins-Smith tweeted that the referee and referee were “bullshit!”

While Mercury striker Brianna Turner took the moment to share “How Much Light [Griner] to everyone around her.”

“We love you and miss you, PJ,” said Phoenix Guardian Kia Nurse.

While watching Greiner’s final court appearance, Mercury winger Diamond Deshields said seeing her teammate “behind these bars breaks my heart.”

2020 WNBA MVP Aja Wilson kept her message simple and effective:

Chicago Sky star Kahleah Copper said the same thing:

Brooklyn Nets point guard Keri Irving asked the White House for an update on “Our Queen.”

While Boston Celtics star Jason Tatum offered some prayers.

NBA player Isiah Thomas has also:

Miami Heat man Pam Adebayo was stunned by the length of Greiner’s sentence.

Celtics striker Grant Williams was also.

Denver Nuggets guard Bones Highland.

Rising NBA star Ja Morant shared a simple message that got straight to the point:

And fellow Memphis Grizzlies, Garen Jackson Jr., repeated it several times as a good measure:

NBA 2022 team member Jaden Ivey, whose mother played in the WNBA, gave support to the league star:

As Orlando Magic guard RJ Hampton did:

Kendrick Perkins, the NBA star turned ESPN analyst, said Greiner’s position was “not correct.”

His colleague on ESPN, Mina Kaimes, called Greiner’s predicament — as well as some hateful comments surrounding her struggle — “heartbreaking all around.”

Turner Sports’ Taylor Rocks said she prays “that these negotiations can happen quickly” to ensure Greiner’s return.

Former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III also shared:

“I feel loved,” said former NFL safety Ryan Clark and that he “cannot imagine what she went through.”

Rapper Meek Mill offered “Free BG” and pressured his followers to “fight for it!!!!!!!”

And 50 Cent said “that’s brutal”.

Even Justin Bieber offered to support Griner on his Instagram story.

Justin Bieber gives support to Britney Grenier.

Justin Bieber Instagram

Chris Moser, the famous American race track athlete, said he was “sending love” to Greiner’s loved ones, and also told fellow athletes they should “pay attention” to what is happening in her case.

WNBA legend Don Staley – who was the head coach of the US basketball team that included Greiner who won gold at the Tokyo Olympics – promised “we won’t stop defending [your] Release.”

Arike Ogunbowale, MVP of the 2021 WNBA All-Star Game, described the decision as “disgusting.”

And Jasmine Thomas, a Connecticut sun guard, sent her love.

Minnesota Linux Aerial Powers star has been jailed for nine years.

WNBA great Swin Cash said her heart is “heavy.”

League legend Tamika Catchings had Greiner in mind, too.

Tennis icon Billie Jean King asked everyone to “continue using your platform to demand her release.”

Connecticut Sun guard Dejonay Carrington said she “prays fervently for BG.”

Jordin Canada, the protector of the Los Angeles Sparks, expressed her grief.

As did her teammate, sniper Lexi Brown:

and Seattle Storm star Jewell Lloyd.

And the 2021 WNBA Rookie of the Year Michaela Onyen was.

Dallas Wings star Isabel Harrington said “Greener’s sentence is bullshit.”

While Chelsea Gray, MVP in the 2022 WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, showed BG some love.

“It’s time for her to go home,” said Seattle Storm star Brenna Stewart, as she has done every day for months.

New York Liberty Center Stephanie Dolson wrote “This can’t be real!”

And Indiana Pfeiffer star Danielle Robinson said she was “thinking and praying” for Greiner.

Layshia Clarendon, the free agent for the WNBA, said they’re thinking of BG “more than ever.”

Atlanta Dream star Erica Wheeler dubbed her “Our Sister.”

Paige Bueckers, a college star for the UConn Huskies, also got in on it.

NBA issued a statement shortly after the ruling.

“The NBA’s commitment to its safe return remains unwavering,” the NBA and NBA commissioners said.

While Phoenix Mercury emphasized that “we will not allow it to be forgotten.”

The WNBPA called the sentence an “unfair” and a “horrific blow”.

Greiner’s agent, Lindsey Kagawa Colas, was not shy about saying that Greiner was being “used as a political pawn.”

Reverend Al Sharpton pressured the clergy to pray [the] Detained WNBA Star”.

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