March 30, 2023

  • Brittney Griner was found guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia.
  • The WNBA star was arrested in February after Moscow airport officials found cannabis in her luggage.
  • From top athletes to musicians to politicians, here’s how people reacted to Griner’s proposal.

Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for drug smuggling for carrying vapor cartridges in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

The WNBA superstar’s trial ended Thursday, with the judge handing down a guilty verdict along with her hefty sentence. Griner has been held in a Russian prison since February, when she was arrested at Sheremetyevo airport after customs agents discovered vapor cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

Brittney Griner

Griner is escorted from the courtroom after her final words in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

In July, Griner and her legal team appealed for clemency after she admitted wrongdoing and pleaded guilty to the charges against her. Although the defense argued that Griner accidentally brought the drugs in her luggage and was prescribed medical marijuana back in the U.S., the two-time Olympic gold medalist received nearly the maximum sentence and now faces the prospect of spending nearly a decade in a Russian penal colony.

The terrifying result caused reactions from the entire sports ecosystem and beyond. From basketball and football stars to politicians and musicians, here’s how the world has responded to Griner’s plight:

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