She is an LGBT activist sentenced to prison in a country with anti-LGBT laws. Basketball player Brittney Griner, a member of the WNBA (women’s branch of the NBA), was convicted of possession and trafficking of drugs on Thursday in Russia. On February 17, she was arrested at the airport with a vaporizer containing cannabis liquid.
Amid tensions between Moscow and Washington, the Russian court sentenced him to 9 years in prison, even though Russia says it is “ready” to discuss a prisoner exchange with the United States. A conviction qualified as“unacceptable” by Joe Biden.
For his fans, who took over the hashtag #FreeBrittneybut also for his relativesare, there is an urgent need to get the basketball player out of Russian prisons. Both lesbian and activist, they fear that her committed positions will worsen her conditions of detention in a country known for its anti-LGBT positions.
Militant and committed
At 31, Brittney Griner has become a symbol for the LGBTQI + community. In recorded video for the It Gets Better program (movement claiming gender diversity), the high-level sportswoman advocates self-acceptance: “Either yourself, or different, or beautiful. And it will get better”. On Twitter, she invites you to make a donation to the association “one and ten”, a structure that helps LGBTQI + teenagers.
In 2013, in a interview for the American media “Sport illustrated “, the young woman from Houston, Texas is coming out. ” It was hard. Make fun of my difference. About my size, my sexuality, all that. I overcame it and I overcame it”.
A time mocked for her size, she is 1.76 meters at the start of high school before reaching 2.06 meters, Brittney Griner will quickly take her revenge. At school, she joined the basketball team even though she had never played there before. A year later, she is already scoring points.
A golden basketball player
At Baylor University, she joined the Lady Bears team and stood out by becoming the 7th woman to dunk (point scored by throwing the ball into the hoop with one or two hands) from university level.
She will make this movement his specialty, sometimes throwing his body completely in the direction of the basket. A feat. A sports commentator will even explain that“no other woman who plays basketball can do that. Two hands and two feet…”.
Her career reached its peak in 2016, when she won the gold medal at the Rio Olympics with the USA team. In 2021, she won her second Olympic gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
The one who will be All Start six times between 2013 and 2019 is also considered a formidable defender. In 2014, she broke her WNBA career record for blocks, a move that allowed her to deflect an opponent’s ball without making a mistake. That day she avoids 11 shots scored against his team.