Free Political Pawn Brittney Griner

LGBTQ ally Aron Solomon chief legal analyst at Esquire Digital gives his spin to Emmy Winner Charlotte Robinson host of OUTTAKE VOICES™ about WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detainment in Russia. A short summary of this unfortunate situation is that Brittney Griner was arrested on February 17th 2022 in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport upon arrival during her seventh season playing professional basketball in Russia during the WNBA’s off-season. Griner was arrested for allegedly possessing cartridges containing 'liquid with hashish oil' according to the customs service. She is currently facing charges that could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Since her arrest Griner's legal team has had access to her and been able to see her several times a week. Last Thursday it was announced that she would be held without trial until at least May 19th and then finally after over a month an official from the US embassy in Moscow was granted consular access to check on her condition. What they reported is that she is being held with two other first time detainees and in good condition. Of course we all fear that Griner is being used as a political pawn especially with Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and that this case did not get the attention it deserved because Brittney is a Black LGBTQ athlete. If this happened to a high profile male professional basketball player like Kyrie Irving or Stephen Curry it would be an entirely different situation. It’s also extremely concerning with Russia’s notorious treatment of our LGBTQ community when Brittney will be safely returned to the United States and her wife. We talked to Aron about how this case has been handled up to now and where it may go from here. 

Brittney Yevette Griner is a professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Griner led the United States Women's Olympic team to a gold medal victory in 2016 at the Rio Olympics. In 2021 Griner was named to the United States Women's National Team for the 2020 Olympics where she won her second gold medal. Griner married Cherelle Watson in 2019 who changed her name to Cherelle Griner. Aron Solomon, JD has taught entrepreneurship at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania and was elected to Fastcase 50 recognizing the top 50 legal innovators in the world. Aron has been featured in CBS News, CNBC, USA Today, ESPN, TechCrunch, The Hill, BuzzFeed, Fortune, Venture Beat, The Independent, Fortune China, Yahoo!, ABA Journal, Law.com, The Boston Globe, NewsBreak and many other leading publications.

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