This means that Griner is still popular and people are talking about her. She was a top topic on Twitter and even ESPN devoted some time to her story.
Brittney Griner, a professional basketball player, was convicted of cannabis possession after police found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage at an airport.
Brittney Griner said she did have the canisters with her in her bag, but said she packed them without meaning to do anything wrong. Her defense team provided evidence that she had been given a doctor’s note to use cannabis for pain relief.
“I can’t imagine spending my birthday in prison when I thought I would be at home. I hope our fans and community keep praying for her.”
“BG’s family is Baylor family. She is a big part of our legacy of Baylor women’s basketball. For us, it is just continuing to advocate to get her home.”
“My sister and friend Brittney Griner has been in a Russian prison for 243 days. I am praying to God to give her the strength to get through the days. I hope she has a happy 32nd birthday. I love her.”
“Happy Birthday, Brittney Griner! We all miss you every day, but today we are celebrating you. We love you, BG, and we will not stop until you are home!”
Griner’s arrest in February happened when there was a lot of tension between Moscow and Washington, a few days before Russia sent troops into Ukraine. Griner is one of the best players in the history of the WNBA, and was going back to Russia to play during the offseason of the US league.
A Russian court said that American basketball star Brittney Griner can appeal her nine-year prison sentence for drug possession on Oct. 25.
The nine-year sentence was almost the maximum of 10 years, and Griner’s lawyers argued after the conviction that the punishment was too much. They said in cases like this, defendants have usually gotten an average sentence of about five years, with about a third of them getting parole.
There is pressure on the Biden administration to bring Griner home. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in July that Washington had made a “substantial proposal” to get Griner home, along with Paul Whelan, an American serving a 16-year sentence in Russia for espionage.
The United States has offered to exchange Griner and Whelan for Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer who is serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.
Elvira Olson is a news reporter for the ABC News affiliate in Los Angeles. She has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards for her work, including an Emmy.