“I wish to apologize to my teammates, my membership, my followers, and town of [Yekaterinburg] for my mistake that I made and the embarrassment that I introduced on them,” Griner mentioned in her assertion. “I wish to additionally apologize to my mother and father, my siblings, the Phoenix Mercury group again at residence, the wonderful girls of the WNBA, and my wonderful partner again at residence.”
Responding to her sentence, President Joe Biden slammed Russia for “wrongfully detaining” Griner, saying he would “pursue each attainable avenue” to deliver her residence.
“It’s unacceptable, and I name on Russia to launch her instantly so she could be along with her spouse, family members, pals, and teammates,” Biden mentioned in a statement. “My administration will proceed to work tirelessly and pursue each attainable avenue to deliver Brittney and Paul Whelan residence safely as quickly as attainable.”
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver additionally launched a joint assertion condemning the decision.
“In the present day’s verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unlucky, however not sudden and Brittney Griner stays wrongly detained,” they mentioned. “The WNBA and NBA’s dedication to her secure return has not wavered and it’s our hope that we’re close to the tip of this means of lastly bringing BG residence to the United States.”
Griner beforehand testified that she used hashish oil prescribed by her physician to deal with ache from sports activities accidents, however had packed her luggage in a rush and didn’t imply to deliver them to Russia, the place she was enjoying within the WNBA offseason. “As they ended up in my luggage accidentally, I take accountability, however I didn’t intend to smuggle or plan to smuggle [illegal substances] to Russia,” she had testified on July 27.
Griner additionally complained that her rights were not read to her when she was first arrested and that she didn’t obtain correct translation providers through the investigation.
In a letter written to Biden final month, Griner mentioned she was “terrified” she is perhaps held in a Russian jail ceaselessly.
“I notice you might be coping with a lot, however please don’t neglect about me and the opposite American Detainees,” she mentioned. “Please do all you’ll be able to to deliver us residence.”
Colas, Griner’s agent, mentioned they appreciated the Biden administration’s efforts to deliver basketball star and Whelan again to the US.
“Bringing Brittney and Paul house is the only real goal, and as such, we should always use all obtainable instruments,” Colas mentioned. “We should stay centered and unified. It is a time for compassion and a shared understanding that getting a deal achieved to deliver Individuals residence will likely be exhausting, however it’s pressing and it’s the proper factor to do.”