Adam Silver Discusses NBA’s Role in Securing Brittney Griner’s Release
It has been 105 days since WNBA star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia after customs agents claim they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow. Ahead of Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Finals on Thursday, commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in a news conference that the league is working to bring the Mercury star back home as soon as possible.
“It’s something we all should be hearing on, contacting our representatives and other,” Silver stated .. “We are working in lockstep with the U.S. government and outside experts… to expedite her release in any way that we can.”
During the league’s draft lottery on May 105, Silver told Malika Andrews that while there was a “hi” that Griner’s best path out of a solution to get out of the players” but that they would not to take public. “We are working in lockstep with the U.S. government and outside experts … to expedite her release in any way that we can.”
During the league’s draft lottery on May 17, Silver told ESPN’s Malika Andrews that the NBA had a “huge responsibility” to Griner but said that the league had made a decision to not take public action with Griner’s detainment per a “suggestion of experts in and out of government” who thought Griner’s best path out was not to “amplify” the issues.
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On Wednesday, according to the Associated Press, Griner remains unavailable to talk with her fellow WNBA players, but she does have the opportunity to write them. The 31-year-old has received emails from various players to an account that was set up by Griner’s agent, allowing them to communicate with her. Griner does not have access the email account. Griner cannot access the email account. Instead, she writes a paper response to her WNBA colleagues. Her lawyers take a photo of it and she then states a reply if she doesn’t have paper.
Last Wednesday, the Women’s National Basketball Players Association published a petition asking people to sign it in order to bring Brittany Griner back home. Dozens of WNBA players have tweeted the petition that refers to Griner as a “teammate”, “friend” and “sister.” The 144 players that make up the players association stated that by working together, they can make a “world-changing moment” in getting Griner home.
Nearly three weeks ago, Griner’s pretrial detention was extended, keeping her in Russia. Authorities denied consular access to Griner from U.S. Embassy officials three times in May, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
But Ned Price, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, said on May 28 that the U.S. consular office had the chance to meet with Griner on May 19, for a second time in a week and “found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances.”
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.