Brittney Griner's hearing in a court outside Moscow ended Thursday without a verdict. Defense attorneys will continue to argue her case on Friday, one week after the WNBA star pleaded guilty to having cannabis oil in her suitcase when she was detained at a Moscow airport on February 17.
NBC News reported that a handcuffed Griner was led into court Thursday wearing an olive-colored shirt and glasses and that she looked calm and even smiled briefly before entering the courtroom. She was joined by her lawyers and three U.S. Embassy representatives. This was the third hearing in the trial of the Phoenix Mercury center and two-time Olympic gold medalist with Team USA. She could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Griner’s trial is now attracting significant media attention and an outpouring of support. Her plight is also placing intense public pressure on the Biden administration to make a deal and bring her home. The six-foot-nine Griner has played for a Russian team during the off-season for the past seven years and is well-known and beloved in the country where basketball is widely popular.
This week, LeBron James lashed out, asking why Griner would want to return to country that has not helped her. He has since clarified his impassioned remarks, made during the taping of an upcoming episode of The Shop: Uninterrupted.
My comments on “The Shop” regarding Brittney Griner wasn’t knocking our beautiful country. I was simply saying how she’s probably feeling emotionally along with so many other emotions, thoughts, etc inside that cage she’s been in for over 100+ days! Long story short #BringHerHome— LeBron James (@KingJames) July 13, 2022
Meanwhile, an Israeli citizen Na’ama Issachar who has been jailed in Russia for 10 months after being accused of smuggling drugs, broke her silence in order to send Griner a message of encouragement. In an interview with NBC News this week, Issachar, who is a dual Israeli-American citizen, urged Griner to “stay positive” and said she was praying constantly for the release of the star athlete.
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