After Russian prisoner swap, Brittney Griner peititon started

The petition comes after the U.S. State Department swapped a Russian drug lord for a former U.S. Marine

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A petition has been launched calling for the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from a Russian jail where she has been detained since February.

As reported by Yahoo, news of the petition comes after the U.S. State Department swapped a Russian drug lord for former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed this week, sparking outrage among fans of the two-time Olympic basketball champion. According to the report, Reed’s return to U.S. soil was met with mixed reactions, prompting many social media to ask “What About Brittney Griner?”

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) looks to pass as Chicago Sky center Candace Parker defends during the WNBA Finals, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

“I do not personally know them, but I do the pain of having your loved one detained in a foreign country,” said Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, in a post on Instagram. “That level of pain is constant and can only be remediated by a safe return home. For the Reed family, that day is today.”

As reported previously by theGrio, in February, customs officers at the Sheremetyevo International Airport allegedly found the vape cartridges containing hashish oil in Griner’s carry-on bag. The arrest of the Phoenix Mercury player came shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

According to AP, Griner had come off a flight from New York when hashish oil cartridges were allegedly detected in her bag by a trained K-9 at a Moscow airport. She has been charged with smuggling “narcotic drugs” into the country. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.

Griner is a member of the Russian basketball UMMC Ekaterinburg, and like many WNBA players, she was playing overseas during the WNBA offseason where top players earn more than $1 million — nearly quadruple what they can make as a base salary in the WNBA,” per The Associated Press

WNBA fans are calling out the Biden administration for not including Griner in the recent prisoner exchange. At the time of this report, a petition on has more than 95,000 signers urging the government to do more to help free the Black female athlete. 

“Black women, from missing persons cases to victims of crime, are not treated with the same urgency as white women and other groups,” a message on the campaign page states. ”We demand that lawmakers hold Griner in the same regard as they would any other sports icon. If it was Tom Brady being held captive, as New York Magazine posited, would there be radio silence across sports media?”

Tamryn Spruill, who started the petition, goes on to note that it “was created after careful thought, inquiry and discussion out of an abundance of caution, and with the singular interest in, calling on U.S. officials to keep Brittney Griner a top priority in all of their decision-making during this grim, worldwide catastrophe.”

According to reports, Griner will remain in pretrial detention until May 19.

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