According to a report by the New York Times, Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury has been detained by Russia.
The WNBA star – who competed against the Chicago Sky in the 2021 WNBA Finals – was reportedly taken into custody at an airport near Moscow after officials found vape cartridges that contained hashish oil. At first, Customs shared only that the person detained had won two Olympic Gold Medals, and it wasn’t until later that a Russian news agency shared the player was Griner.
Of course, the news comes at a time when tensions are high between Russia and the rest of the world. Questions around the motives for detaining Griner have already surfaced, and the timeline of just how long she has been in Russian custody remains unclear.
The Mercury and WNBAPA have already released statements on the matter, hoping to find Griner a quick trip home.
— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) March 5, 2022
Statement from the WNBPA regarding Brittney Griner. pic.twitter.com/Bw9sVCJAlX
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) March 5, 2022
For those who may be wondering why Griner was in Russia, know that it’s more than normal for WNBA players to sign big deals to play across the Atlantic during the offseason.
Considering what’s going on in the world, this is pretty darn scary, so let’s all cross our fingers that the situation doesn’t escalate and Griner finds her way home soon.