A Russian court convicted US basketball star Brittney Griner of possessing and smuggling narcotics, sentencing her to 9 years in prison and a fine of 1 million rouble. The verdict comes at a time when relations between Washington and Moscow are at a historic low, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a wave of Western sanctions. The two-time Olympic gold medallist has been in custody since February 17, when two vape cartridges containing small amounts of cannabis oil were found in her luggage while she was at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Should the U.S. make a deal with Russia to gain the release of Brittney Griner? Let’s talk about it…

Olga Cadena Salazar: ‘No!!!”

Henry Shamdas: “Not as a priority when there are others there.”

Leon Gaytan: “No, because she broke Russian’s laws and it seems like it’s a ‘you’ ( Brittney) problem. The question that needs to be addressed is why are the ladies from the WNBA going to other countries to earn a living while the male counterparts, in the NBA, are making millions. What happened to equal pay,equal rights?”

Richard Martinez: “No. She’s not the only American doing time in Russia right now.”

Steve Ortiz: “She pleaded guilty does anyone not realize what that means?”

Rhino Martinez: “Hell no! Tell her to take a knee during our national anthem… and expect us to bail her out ? If that’s the case, release every one with weed charges since it’s ok … she was representing the US in a bad way so she can take the consequences.”

Jeff Sealey: “The official number of Americans detained abroad supposedly won’t officially be released by the State Department but the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation puts the number around 60 in 18 different countries, including Griner. Why should we work so hard and make deals to bring her home and not the others, many of whom have been incarcerated way longer than she has? It may be a BS charge and sentence by American standards but guess what? She did not commit the crime in America. I hate it for her but do the crime, do the time! So the answer is NO…the US should not make a deal to release her.”

Christal Murphy: “No but they should put as much effort here in the US as they did there in Russia showcasing how legal it is (43/50 States)and its medicinal value. Funny how defense and prosecutors look the other way at incarcerated folks here for far less than what she had there.”

Sean Henry: “Only if she is put in jail in the US. Legal state to illegal state: you get put in jail for trafficking in the US. It would be very shady to put her above the law and let her walk free.”

Kathy Kopchia: “She didn’t take a knee to respect the flag. Didn’t care for the United States. So enjoy your new crib sista!!”

Shelley Miles Fisher: “Absolutely NOT! And can you please stop talking just about her being in jail over there? We have another American Paul Whalen, who is there too, that clearly no one has bothered to make an offer of trade for him let alone keep him in the news. We have zero business in her court case in Russia. That’s on her! We also have no business negotiating any type of trade, especially with the Russian Merchant of Death- it’s absurd to even think that’s OK.
And if we make a deal and bring her home, we need to let every single person that has a pending Marijuana charge against them or on probation for or in jail for marijuana, free and clear of those charges and let them out of jail or off probation etc. if we make a trade to bring her home after she boarded a flight in the USA and arrived In Russia with cannabis oil vape pen. That’s saying being in possession of that is OK in other countries even if their laws state otherwise and we will get you out and bring you back.”

Yvette Elizabeth: “No.”

Richard West: “Not until Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, and other Americans being held are released. At least Whelan and the others respect this country and stand for the flag and anthem which is more than this person – who hates this country – does. They should receive no special treatment just because they have a certain amount of fame from playing a sport.”

Tammy Ceniseros: “If you are getting her out..then get all the Americans that are there. It doesn’t matter if they are famous or not, with money or not. No one is left behind !!! Or else leave her there!”

Monica N Romero: “Nope, she’s not above the law nor is she that important for us to release two potentially threatening men who want and would potentially cause harm to the Americans. Like why is this even being debated? We are willing to free these murderers for her? This is ridiculous.”

Kristin Parsons: “Not for a murderer! Hell no!”

Ebony Proud: “It’s illegal there as it is in many countries around the world. In Indonesia, you can get up to 20yrs for possession of cannabis, I sympathize but she lived in Russia long enough to know better. What is questionable is that Russia is imprisoning Jehovah’s Witnesses for simply being Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is now illegal for them to meet and do bible study, they are being imprisoned and violently interrogated for information on the whereabouts of other JWs, and they’re some of the most harmless people I’ve ever met and they’re being persecuted for their faith. And no one has a clue that’s happening right now and has been for at least 2 years.”

Ryan Joseph: “America’ don’t look so bad now huh, Brit?”

Jerri Thompson: “We pray for a hedge of protection and no suffering for her while she is serving this cruel and unusual punishment. She did not have a narcotic. That is for sure. Kamala is a whole lawyer at the end of the day. She should be able to get that girl.”

KMichael Fishman: “It would make America look so weak if we traded this America-hating POS for an arms dealer known as “The Merchant of Death”. Laws are laws, only an idiot would travel to another country and bring any form of THC. She 100% knew she couldn’t bring it, but thought ‘I’m Brittney Griner, what’ll they do?’ Hahaha! The joke is on you. Can’t understand normal thinking.”

Ryan Marc Hall: “Once she gets a taste of the Russian penal system, do you think it will be enough to set her straight?”

Mary Irby: “If you go to a communist country, you’d better make sure you check your luggage so that you do not have anything that goes against them. I would have double checked, triple checked because these people do not operate like America. She made a big mistake and now she has to pay for it.”

Larry Jenkins: “Hell No! Let her rot in Russia since she denounced America and broke Russian law.”

Marianna Garcia: “Bring her home. I can’t imagine the tortures she is having to endure. Thankfully, we live in the USA when we have freedom of speech guaranteed by our military and constitution. I firmly believe Russian set her up.”


Becky Lee: “I read they want a man called merchant of death, a Russian arms dealer in jail in the US, plus a Russian assassin in jail in another country, exchanged for her and a US military man imprisoned in Russia for espionage.”

Lisa Fedele: “Maybe after 9 years in prison, she will then stand up for our national anthem.”

Jill Stockstill: “Russia can just keep her and if her wife is missing her so much she can move to Russia.”

SuperMom LH: “Nope! Now you want the USA to bail you out?!? Bless your heart sweetheart; you can stay in jail. You didn’t support America. You didn’t want to have our National Anthem playing at games! You said you didn’t want to live In America!! Well sweetheart, you can stay in Russia! Maybe next time you won’t break the laws of other countries!!! You knew what you were doing was wrong! You do the crime, you do the time!”

Musa Furr: “Some of the responses here are horribly misinformed. First, she mistakenly brought a residual amount of weed oil into the country. It would be like all the times people forget bottles of water or pocket knives at the airport. If you’ve done that then you shouldn’t judge. Second, she was in the country to play basketball because they pay better. You guys are proud of that. I bet that she has to go to another country just to make a better living? They will make a deal for her but all the Americans they have in jail are just political pawns and she is no different.”

Kimberly Garza: “If they do, then they need to also release any and every person that is currently serving time for the same thing inside their own prison system and federally legalize it.”

Lisa Fedele: “She took a knee . I have no respect for her.”

Y’all So Weak: “Damn it bruh, more people seem to believe she did the crime so she does the time. I agree but 9 YEARS though? Also, I hope yall know Russia ain’t swapping no prisoners. They don’t even like us right now and they feel like they just got a W on the U.S.”

Dolly Smith: “It’s against the law in Russia. That’s where she was. She’s spent a lot of time there. You would think she’d know the rules.”

Sai Sadole: “Well too bad Russia is not America.”

Sheryl Hudson Greb: “On a positive note, she doesn’t have to listen to our National Anthem for nine years”.

Tim Campbell: “I read a good bit of unnecessary anger toward Brittney. First, if you feel this way because she refuses to take the court during the national anthem, you should understand that is what makes this country great. We all have the right to call out our government and peacefully protest without legal punishment. You should also understand that she (as most who protest during the anthem) does not hate our country but is protesting the actions of those in power. (For the record, I served my country and always stand for the anthem.) It is your right to feel that it is disrespectful, but it is not a crime. None of that matters in this case. She broke Russia’s law and now she must pay for that and she will (it might not be the full 9 years). Spending any time in any prison is definitely a strong punishment, spending it in a foreign country, and one who is our enemy is definitely worse. The USA should not be pushing for her release, but for fair treatment and punishment of all US prisoners. Nine years seems way out of line for her crime. It would be interesting to see what the average sentence is for the same crime. I don’t support her because she is rich, famous or for any other reason. I support her because she is a citizen.”