The support for Brittney Griner — who was convicted on drug possession and smuggling charges in Russia and is serving a nine-year sentence — hasn’t waned among WNBA stars and those with ties to the league.
Jasmine Jordan, the Jordan Brand basketball field rep for women’s sport marketing, spoke with FN last night at the 2022 FN Achievement Awards in New York City and addressed the situation Griner is facing abroad. Like many others, Jasmine Jordan — the daughter of NBA icon Michael Jordan — believes Griner deserves to be home with her wife, Cherelle Griner, and her family.
Jasmine Jordan also urged people to speak about what Griner is up against with respect.
“In this age of social media and the internet, so many people are just dismissive and disrespectful about the situation. It’s not about the charges. It’s a bigger picture taking place,” Jasmine Jordan told FN. “A lot of people are ignoring that and they’re focusing on these micro details, the charges, but it’s a political play. Sorry, not sorry. She is wrongfully being used as a pawn in a bigger scheme that’s being played, and it’s unfortunate to see.”
This month, reports surfaced of the conditions Griner is dealing with at the IK-2 penal colony in Mordovia.
Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the Russian feminist protest and performance art group Pussy Riot who spent nearly two years in a Russian women’s prison, recently told MSNBC that Griner is in the “harshest colony in the whole Russian prison system” and revealed its “slave-like conditions” that include “forced to work up to 17 hours a day” and punishment for not performing the quota that includes daily torture.
Aside from offering a message of urgency to those that could help bring Griner home, Jasmine Jordan also praised the baller as an individual.
“I’m a huge Brittney fan. I’ve been a fan of her since her days at Baylor [University] and I love her as an athlete, I love her as a person and just in general how she carries herself day in and day out. To see someone like that go through this, whether you know them or not, is unfortunate,” she said. “We’ve got to continue to bring attention to her, we’ve got to continue to speak and pray and be there for her, her family, her wife, etc., because her fight is not over. It’s only beginning.”
She continued, “We have to hope for her return in a safe manner. Brittney has a huge space in my heart and I hope that she gets home safely, sooner rather than later.”