“I need 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 need to additionally apologize to my dad and mom, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at residence, the superb ladies of the WNBA, and my superb partner again at residence.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each potential avenue” to carry her residence.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she will be together with her spouse, family members, buddies, and teammates,” Biden mentioned in a statement. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each potential avenue to carry Brittney and Paul Whelan residence safely as quickly as potential.”
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched a joint assertion condemning the decision.
“At present’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 secure return has not wavered and it’s our hope that we’re close to the tip of this means of lastly bringing BG residence to the United States.”
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 accidentally, I take accountability, 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 may be held in a Russian jail endlessly.
“I understand you’re coping with a lot, however please don’t overlook about me and the opposite American Detainees,” she mentioned. “Please do all you’ll be able to to carry us residence.”
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 real goal, and as such, we must always use all out there instruments,” Colas mentioned. “We should stay targeted and unified. It is a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal performed to carry Individuals residence might be onerous, however it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”