American Basketball Player Brittney Griner, Moscow War Prize
Brittney Griner finds herself trapped in the geopolitical crisis between Russia and the United States after being sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court. On Saturday, Moscow confirmed “discussions” regarding “an exchange” of prisoners.
The atmosphere is festive in the bays of the Saitama Arena, in Tokyo, on this Sunday, August 8, 2021. “You’ll put some barbecue sauce on me to accompany these thirty pawns”, quips Brittney Griner facetiously to her partners. During the Olympic Games, the US women’s basketball team defeated the Japanese in the final.
Team USA’s strategy during this match was to pass the ball to Brittney Griner as a priority and let her fend for herself in the racquet and under the opponent’s basket. Unstoppable. The United States won its seventh consecutive Olympic title with thirty points (fourteen shots made out of eighteen attempts) from number 15 – a record in an Olympic final for women.
A year has passed. Brittney Griner has swapped the prosecutor’s office for a prison and a courtroom. The American basketball player has been imprisoned for almost six months in Russia. In mid-February – a few days before the start of the war in Ukraine – she was arrested at the Moscow airport of Sheremetyevo because of the presence, in her luggage, of cannabis-based vaping liquid, banned in Russia, but legal in many US states.
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