The Brittney Griner Conundrum
Guilty Plea Makes Griner Supporters Look Foolish
Pro-women’s basketball player Brittney Griner, who has become a bit of a cause celebre among certain circles, has admitted her guilt after all:
Two-time US Olympic basketball gold medalist Brittney Griner has pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Russian court near Moscow, her lawyers confirmed to CNN on Thursday.
Griner, who the US State Department has classified as wrongfully detained, faces up to 10 years in prison under the charge.
The 31-year-old was arrested in February at a Moscow airport after Russian officials say they found cannabis oil in her luggage. The basketball star, who plays in Russia during the WNBA's offseason, has been held since then on drug smuggling charges punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
This, of course, could all be part of some sort of diplomatic deal to get her home. But that’s not the point.
The point is that Griner has made her supporters look like idiots.
For months now we have been treated to people across the sports world and beyond calling Griner a “political prisoner”. She’s been “wrongfully detained” according to them.
NBA players wore shirts supporting her.
And for what? So she could admit to exactly what the Russian government accused her of in the first place
Look, you know that I am in no way a fan of the Russian government and Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime.
But it was not geopolitics that made Brittney Griner decide to go play pro basketball in Russia. And it was not geopolitics that made Brittney Griner decide to bring cannabis oil on her flight to Russia.
Yes, she says she did not intend to do it. But she did. And it is a crime to bring it into Russia.1 That isn’t the fault of Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, the War, or anybody else. That’s the fault of Griner.
Do I think she should go to jail for ten years over this? Of course not. But Brittney Griner admitted to committing a crime, and no amount of protesting or political posturing is going to change that.
So what should be the obvious takeaway of all of this? Other than the obvious lesson of don’t do drugs? That lesson is that maybe folks should take a step back and observe the situation before deciding to blindly follow the latest celebrity cause overtaking the sports world.
As it is to bring it into the United States, don’t forget.