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Brittney Griner, Criticized Heavily for Her National Anthem Stance, Shot Back at Haters in 2020

Published 08/12/2022, 3:30 PM EDT

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WNBA star Brittney Griner is all over the news for all the unfortunate reasons. A Russian court recently sentenced her to 9 years in jail amidst talks between the officials of the two countries.

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Safe to say, she has the world divided on opinions regarding her situation. While some feel the US Government should bring her home, some feel she should serve her time in Russia.


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Much of the hate Griner is receiving is due to her political stance. Even before her conviction, Griner was a controversial figure. After the killing of Breonna Taylor, the WNBA decided to spread awareness for her cause.

During a game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks, the two teams walked off the court while the National Anthem played. Interestingly enough, Griner mentioned that this will not be the last time she would walk off the court.

She said, “I’m going to protest regardless. I’m not going to be out there for the national anthem. If the league continues to want to play it, that’s fine.”

This brought in a lot of backlash for the 2 time Olympic Gold Medallist. While many bashed her for her actions and labeled her as ‘Anti-National’, she clapped back at all of her criticism.

“I don’t mean that in any disrespect to our country. My dad was in Vietnam and a law officer for 30 years. I wanted to be a cop before basketball. I do have pride for my country,” said Griner.

Brittney Griner might not have to serve her sentence in Russia

The Phoenix Mercury star made headlines worldwide earlier this year when officials found illegal substances in her luggage. She was arrested on these charges and it led to a long legal procedure.

Brittney Griner’s camp finally got closure on her case after a Russian court sentenced her to 9 years in prison. However, all hope is not lost for her and her family.


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Officials of both countries are negotiating a prisoner exchange that might bring her back to the United States of America. “Instructions were given to authorized structures to carry out negotiations. They are being conducted by competent authorities, said a Russian official.


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The officials plan to bring back Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan while sending a notorious arms dealer back to Russia.

What are your thoughts regarding the Brittney Griner situation? Let us know in the comments down below.



Abhinava Ghosh

1785 articles

Abhinava is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication. Abhinava has been following NBA for the past 6 years and is a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry.

Edited By: Pritam Priyedarshi