Despite what seemed like a productive meeting with US State Department officials, Brittney Griner’s received another pushback in her case.
According to Russian state news outlets TASS, a Moscow court has reportedly extended Griner’s imprisonment again, at least until July 2. Griner has been in jail since February, when she was detained for allegedly having hashish oil vape cartridges in her luggage.
The news report also responded to the Biden administration’s suggestion of a prisoner swap, with a top Russian diplomat saying that’s off the table “until a court investigation into her case is completed.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters Tuesday some red flags were raised because the department didn’t learn of the news from Russian officials but rather the news outlet.
“This case is problematic from top to bottom,” he said. “It is precisely why we have characterized Brittney Griner as an unlawful detainee. It’s precisely why we are doing everything we can to seek and to affect her prompt release from Russian detention.”
Griner has many supporters in the US who have been fighting for her swift and safe release. The Boston Celtics have used their extra time in the spotlight in the NBA Finals to raise awareness for the WNBA’s case by wearing “We Are BG” shirts.
“It’s extremely tough seeing what she’s going through,” Tatum told ESPN of the decision to rock the shirt. “I know everybody sees and feels that, and obviously we’re all together in support trying to bring her back to her family and things like that. Yeah, wearing those shirts today in support of her.”
Earlier this week players and staff of Griner’s Phoenix Mercury met with state department officials to discuss the case and reveal the intricate steps it will take to get her back stateside.