Guest post by Jesse Lawson of Blue State Conservative.
The story that began in February with the arrest of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner at a Russian airport for possession of cannabis oil took a dramatic turn on Thursday. Appearing in a Russian court outside of Moscow, the gifted athlete and multi-millionaire pled guilty to the charges against her in what appears to be an effort to receive clemency from the court.
While many of Griner’s supporters have been adamant in their denunciation of her arrest and detainment, very few have contended that Griner was, in fact, innocent of the charges. Today’s guilty plea by Griner makes that point official and should advance the timeline of her sentencing since a trial will now be unnecessary.
According to Fox News:
“Griner’s guilty plea comes just one day after Russia’s Foreign Ministry said during a news briefing that the WNBA star will have the ability to appeal her verdict or apply for clemency and disputed claims made by the U.S. that she was wrongfully detained on Feb. 17.
‘The court must first deliver its verdict, but no one is stopping Brittney Griner from making use of the appeal procedure and also from requesting clemency,’ a spokesperson for the ministry said, adding that ‘attempts to present her case as though the American woman was illegally detained do not stand up to criticism.’
Russian-born former U.S. intelligence officer and expert on Russia and Vladimir Putin Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that it would be unlikely for Putin to grant Griner clemency in such a highly charged case, and her detention would more than likely be used as a bargaining chip for a prison swap or more.”
While the recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in many states here in America, it remains criminalized in most other countries. In The Philippines and Singapore, for instance, punishments can be severe, including life in prison and brutal canings. In Russia, the charges against Griner could put her behind bars for ten years.
As Griner and her supporters have begged the Biden Administration to intervene on her behalf, and now appear poised to plead for mercy from Russian officials, sympathy for Griner from many in America has been hard to come by. And this latest development of Griner’s guilty plea is unlikely to change that dynamic.
Despite being black, lesbian, and a woman, traits which Griner and her confederates have argued result in systemic oppression, Brittney Griner has been immensely successful: both professionally and financially. She’s been gifted with dominant physical traits, incredible agility, coordination, and the good fortune to have been raised in a tolerant society that has allowed her to thrive.
But even with those blessings, Griner had been highly critical and disrespectful of her homeland prior to her arrest last winter. She refused to even enter sports arenas until after our National Anthem was played. She trashed our country’s institutions while preaching about imaginary systemic injustices. So, when she was arrested by a truly oppressive government five months ago, many of us were unable to feel any concern and instead marveled at the irony.
Such reactions are likely to continue with today’s news, as we now watch the Russian legal process play out and await Griner’s eventual fate. Hopefully, she’s making the most of this time on her hands by reassessing her previous hatred for America.