‘Did she ask to be paid in weed?’: Brittney Griner brutally trolled as she signs one-year deal with Phoenix Mercury
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: WNBA star Brittney Griner will return to basketball in the upcoming season after being detained in Russia for nearly ten months, according to a source with direct information. She has signed a one-year contract with Phoenix Mercury. The 32-year-old athlete was detained for marijuana possession while visiting Russia to play basketball during the WNBA off-season, and she ended up staying there for nearly 300 days. She was released from prison in December 2022 after Moscow freed her in exchange for a Russian prisoner who was being held in the US.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist last participated for the Mercury in 2021, when she assisted in advancing the group to the WNBA Finals, where the Chicago Sky defeated them. Since being taken with the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, the seven-time All-Star had spent the previous nine seasons playing for the team, as reported by CNN.
‘I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury’
When Griner was exchanged for valuable Russian prisoner Viktor Bout as part of her release in December 2022, many admirers questioned whether she would ever return to court. But Griner pledged that she would.
In a December post on Instagram, she said, “It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help,” reported TMZ. Griner continued, “I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon.”
On May 19, 2023, Phoenix will play their away season opener against the Los Angeles Sparks. On May 21, the team will face the Sky in their first home game. The agreement’s terms have not yet been disclosed, and neither Griner nor the team has released a statement regarding the signing.
In February 2022, Griner, who had for years represented a Russian women’s basketball team in the WNBA off-season, was detained at a Moscow-area airport on suspicion of importing drugs. In a time of tense ties between the US and Russia, her detention gained international attention and was judged unlawful by American officials.
She was sentenced to nine years in prison in early August 2022 despite testifying that the cannabis oil discovered in her suitcase was packed accidentally. After losing her appeal in mid-November, she was transferred to a correctional colony in the Mordovia republic.
‘She should return to Russia’
People were quick to comment on social media, following the news of her return to basketball, with one tweeting, “I really don’t care about her!” Another said, “She should return to russia.” Another said, “Wouldent wish my worst enemy to watch 1 of her games.” “Did she ask to be paid in Weed?” said a social media user. A fifth tweeted, “Don’t really care for her. Hopefully now she recognizes the greatness of her country.”