Brittney Griner

Shea Reisman

For months now, Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for smuggling a small amount of cannabis on her flight. To be exact, this one small vape cartridge she has been caught with has given her nine years in a Russian penal colony. While on trial, she is still being held in a cell. Because of her race and sexuality, this incident is especially troubling. Russia does not support the LGBTQ community and is in fact “anti-gay”. According to Human Rights Watch, their “anti-gay propaganda” targets vulnerable sexual minorities for their own political gain. Vladamir Putin signed legislation solely targeting the LGBTQ community to “protect the youth from the denial of traditional family values”. Going back to Griner, the gay laws in Russia are making her situation worse. Racially speaking, there are only about forty-thousand Russians of full or mixed-African heritage. This makes up about 0.03% of the population in Russia. 


Griners’ fans are very upset at the small amount of publicization that this case is getting. On one hand, more publicization is always good. But in this specific case over publicizing could adversely affect her detention. According to The Cut, inside her cell, she personally wrote Joe Biden a letter. As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,”. Griner’s family delivered Biden this letter. Griner also stated that she voted for Biden in 2020. That was her first time voting in a presidential race. She has high hopes that Biden will bring her home soon.



Former NBA All-Star Dennis Rodman has recently stated he’d be going to Russia in hopes of Brittney Griner’s release. Dennis Rodman has a past of doing very eccentric things, like making friends with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Un. Although there is no doubt of his skill on the basketball court, his off-court behavior is sometimes questionable. Because of all the backlash Rodman received for making this statement, it is unsure that he’ll be making this trip. A senior Biden administration official said that Rodman would just be more hurt than help, which may just be true. On a 2014 trip to Moscow, Rodman called Russia’s leader Putin “cool”. The State Department advises U.S. citizens against visiting this country, but can not stop Rodman as long as he has his visa from Moscow.