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Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

Brittney Griner talks about Russia: ‘The whole life flashes before my eyes’

By Vaseline May30,2024

Professional basketball player Brittney Griner opened up on Thursday’s episode of “The View” about her arrest in a Russian prison on smuggling charges after THC was found in her luggage at an airport.

Griner described feeling stopped by airport security in Moscow.

“I felt like my whole life was flashing before my eyes. How could I have made this mistake? It was scary,” Griner said.

She considered taking her own life while in captivity, but her family kept her going.

“I was at a really low point,” Griner said. “It was, in my opinion, honestly the dirtiest thing I’ve ever felt. And all I could think about was, if I did this, would they even release my body to my family? Would they hold me? I was already leaving I’ve been through a lot, my family has been through a lot, and that thought kept me from doing that.”

NAACP Golf Invitation
Brittney Griner attends the NAACP Golf Invitational at Monarch Beach Golf Links on March 12, 2024 in Dana Point, California. Griner appeared on “The View” on Thursday to discuss her time in a Russian prison.

Leon Bennett/Stringer/Getty Images

Griner was arrested in Russia in February 2022 for having less than a gram of medically prescribed THC. In August 2022, she was sentenced to nine years in prison. But US officials arranged a trade for her release in December 2022.

Griner plays for the WNBA on the Phoenix Mercury. She has also played in China and Russia.

After being sentenced to nine years in prison, Griner was sent to one of Russia’s harshest penal colonies. Griner said it was “a different world.”

“It was scary. I didn’t really understand anything,” Griner said. ‘Because you don’t know anything about what’s going on. They just point at you and they don’t even try to say anything, they just talk to you in Russian.’

She remembered what it was like to finally land on American soil and reunite with her wife.

“I just remember grabbing her and holding her and whispering in her ear,” Griner said.

Griner also had a message for people who have labeled her careless for forgetting that she had THC in her luggage, which is not legal in Russia.

“People who call me careless say, have you ever forgotten your keys? Or where are my glasses? Everyone has made a mistake,” Griner said.

She also took offense to those who called her unpatriotic for kneeling during the national anthem. She said her father was a veteran and worked in law enforcement.

“That was my hero. I wanted to be a police officer. I didn’t want to play basketball growing up,” Griner said. “I wanted to become a police officer and actually join the military. And doesn’t it make me more American that I demonstrate the protests? That’s my right as an American, so to call me un-American, I was. devastated by that.”