After fans flocked to social media to give support to Brittney Griner after learning she was detained in Russia for allegedly carrying cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis in her travel bag, the Russian media decided to release the WNBA star’s mugshot to the public for the first time.
The photo, which appeared on Russian State TV on March 5, showed the WNBA star holding up a piece of paper with her name on it while being detained in a Russian police station, according to CNN.
Russian state TV has released a photo of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was arrested on drug charges in the country after Russian officials say cannabis oil was found in her luggage. CNN's @RosaFlores has the story. pic.twitter.com/SzB9MSSQfY— CNN (@CNN) March 8, 2022
Griner, like many WNBA stars, plays overseas in Russia after the regular WNBA season is over. The Phoenix Mercury star had flown to Moscow in February when a customs service dog at the Sheremetyevo International Airport suspected that drugs could possibly be located inside her carry-on bag. Customs officers searched the bag and allegedly found vape cartridges that contained liquid with hash oil. Griner was later taken into custody.
The offense could land the basketball star 10 years in prison.
Due to the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the State Department has issued a “do not travel” advisory for U.S. citizens thinking of heading to Russia as the strife escalates.
The WNBA star has played over in Russia for the past seven years. The last time she played in a game was Jan. 29 for the Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg before the two-week hiatus in February for the FIBA World Cup qualifying tournaments.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle T. Griner, expressed gratitude for those thinking of Brittney during this time via Instagram: “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated.”
On Monday (March 7) Cherelle posted a throwback photo of Brittney and the rest of their family with the caption wishing for her safe return home, ‘We love you babe! People say ‘stay busy.’ Yet, there’s not a task in this world that could keep any of us from worrying about you.”
“My heart, our hearts, are all skipping beats everyday that goes by. I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You’re our person!” Cherelle continued. “There are no words to express this pain. I’m hurting, we’re hurting. We await the day to love on you as a family.”