Lesbian basketball superstar Brittney Griner arrested in Russia

Brittney Griner
Brittney Griner (right) with wife Cherelle

Russian news sites report the arrest of WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic champion Brittney Griner. Reports say the out lesbian faces 5 to 10 years in a Russian prison.

Russia’s Interfax news agency reports the arrest occurred in February after Brittney Griner arrived in Moscow on a flight from New York. A teammate tweeted that the basketball superstar so far spent three weeks in detention.

On Brittney’s arrival at a Moscow airport, drug-sniffing dog took an interest in her luggage. Following X-rays, customs officers discovered ‘vapes’. Interfax described the vapes as possessing ‘a specific odour’ which an expert later identified as hashish oil.

Brittney Griner’s team, the Phoenix Mercury, since confirmed the arrest.

“We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia.

“We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA.”

The team went on to say, “We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home.”

Brittney’s wife

Brittney’s wife Cherelle Watson Griner posted on Instagram yesterday to thank people concerned ‘regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia’. She said she greatly appreciated the support.

“I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life.”

USA Basketball issued a statement saying they were aware of and monitoring the situation.

“Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and well being are our primary concerns.”

American news reports state that Brittney Griner plays for the Russian Ekaterinburg team during the WNBA off-season.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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