WNBA star Brittney Griner was released from Russian custody. The athlete spent nine months detained after airport authorities discovered a small amount of marijuana in her luggage as she attempted to leave the country following a professional basketball game.
In a statement released by the White House, President Barack Obama welcomed Griner’s release and praised her for her “strength and perseverance.” “Brittney’s long-overdue release is a testament to her strength and perseverance,” Obama said. “I commend her for standing up for herself and others who may have been unfairly detained in Russia.” The President also called on the Russian government to “reform its laws and practices” with regards to drug possession, which he said “unfairly target[s] individuals like Brittney.” “No one should be subjected to detention and mistreatment because of the actions of others,” Obama said.
We are pleased that she will finally be reunited with her family and friends, and we will continue to stand by her as she adjusts to being home. President Barack Obama celebrated Griner’s “long-overdue release”: “Brittney Griner is a talented athlete who has represented our country with distinction on the basketball court. We are pleased that she has been reunited with her family and friends, and we call on the Russian government to release all Americans who are unjustly detained so that they can return home to their loved ones.”