WNBA star Brittney Griner is now opening up about her 10-month detention in Russia.
The 32-year-old was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to nine years in jail in Russia for drug possession and smuggling drugs with criminal intent.
During a press conference held on Thursday, Brittney was asked how she was able to endure her detention and the possibility of facing 9 years behind bars in a Russian jail.
She became emotional as she shared, “I’m no stranger to hard times.”
“Just digging deep, honestly. You’re going to be faced with adversities throughout life. This was a pretty big one.”
ESPN reports Griner’s arrest in February 2022 made her the most high-profile American jailed abroad.
Her status as an openly gay Black woman locked up in a country where authorities have been hostile to the LGBTQ community infused racial, gender, and social dynamics into her legal saga and made each development a matter of international importance.
Her case not only brought unprecedented publicity to the dozens of Americans wrongfully detained by foreign governments, but it also emerged as a major inflection point in U.S.-Russia diplomacy at a time of deteriorating relations prompted by Moscow’s war against Ukraine.
Although Brittney Griner is back on U.S. soil and thriving.
She has not forgotten about those who are still wrongfully detained in Russia like Paul Whelan and Evan Gershkovich.
I come from a military family. I have that mindset: No man left behind.
No man, no woman, no one left behind.
So, it hurts. It hurts because no one should be in those conditions.
To everyone that is wrongfully detained right now across the world stay strong, keep fighting…don’t give up.
Brittany Griner is returning to the WNBA court after signing a one-year contract with the Phoenix Mercury.
I look forward to seeing her back on the court.