Opinion: Brittney Griner needs more than outrage to be released

It’s not that far-fetched to imagine that happening, especially when we recap the basis for this accusation: two vape cartridges of hash oil found in Griner’s luggage at a Moscow airport in February.
Griner’s situation seems almost as absurd, but it’s no laughing matter. It’s infuriating and heartbreaking for her family, friends and WNBA colleagues, many of whom, like Griner, have played for Russian women’s professional basketball teams due to the gender pay gap in the states. -United.
Diplomacy will help. Social media won’t. The internet outrage over Briner’s situation may comfort and embolden his family and friends. But those who are actively working for his return home already know how many share their pain.
Inevitably, there has been a backlash to this support for Griner, with some attacking him for his outspoken views on racial justice and police brutality. During the 2020 WNBA season, she and her Phoenix Mercury teammate Brianna Turner said they would stay in their locker room during the national anthem to protest the shooting death that year of Breonna Taylor by police. of Louisville, Kentucky.
“Yeah, we’re here to play basketball,” Griner said at a press conference at the time. “But basketball means nothing in a world where we can’t just live. We can’t wake up and do what we want to do. Go for a run, go to the store to buy candy, drive your car without fear of ‘be wrongfully arrested.’

Some have used her position as an excuse not to support Griner, to roughly paraphrase, “She doesn’t support America. Why should America support her? Other platforms said she was getting this attention because of her fame – even though her “fame” hadn’t helped her so far. They ask why she was in Russia in the first place. (Um, she needed to work?)

But why continue? Ultimately, this reinforces what I’ve already suggested about the futility of social media except as a conduit for our own feelings and attitudes. Nothing more.

At this point, only one statement really matters: Griner, whether you agree with her or not, is a US citizen. She is one of us, a child raised among us who becomes a person with her own beliefs, profession, marriage and life.
It deserves to be considered as such by all other citizens, whatever their beliefs. What she doesn’t deserve is to become a pawn in a foreign country’s geopolitical agenda or, for that matter, anyone’s surrogate for a sociopolitical grievance or private bias.

Venting, ranting, decrying or defending – that’s what we do in this country with or without Instagram or Twitter. But never forget that something very human is being violated in a terrible and heartbreaking way by this process, regardless of anyone’s laws that have been broken.

And remember that whatever happens – or doesn’t happen – is not in our control, but in the hands of lawyers, diplomats and others like them who are not or may not be. never able to divulge the full story, even if they manage to get Griner out.

One thing of which I remain certain: it will not take nine years. That’s my prediction, and I’m sticking to it.


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