Brittney Griner Breaks Silence About Russian Detention

[Screenshot/YouTube/ABC News]

Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Brittney Griner, star center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, broke her silence following her 10-month detention in Russia during a Wednesday interview with ABC.

Authorities arrested Griner for drug possession in Russia’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February 2022. She reportedly pled guilty to drug charges in July 2022 after they found hash oil in her luggage. The Biden administration then orchestrated a prisoner swap that saw the U.S. send Russia an arms dealer known as “The Merchant of Death” back in exchange for Griner.

Griner revealed to ABC she thought about killing herself multiple times during her detention.

“I wanted to take my life more than once in the first weeks,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts, according to NBC News. “I felt like leaving here so badly.”

But she ultimately decided against ending her life because she feared Russia wouldn’t send her body home to her family, she reportedly told Roberts.

Griner explained the vape pen cartridge she was arrested for was in her bag by accident as she detailed the moment she was caught with it.

“The agent stared as I slowly lifted out a cartridge with cannabis oil. In Arizona, cannabis is legal. In Russia, it’s forbidden. I knew that, honest to God. I just totally forgot the pen was in my bag,” she explained.

She said she felt “like my whole heart just fell out of my body. Just this overpowering feeling of, like … like, woah. Like elevator dropped from under my feet. And I’m just like man … my life is over right here.”

“Oh my God, how did I make this mistake? How was I this absent-minded?” she asks, rhetorically. “I could just visualize everything I worked so hard for just crumbling and going away. (RELATED: NFL Star Says He’s Still Not Voting For Joe Biden After Brittney Griner Release)

She tried to lie her way out of the situation, telling the authorities the cartridges contained CBD, but they didn’t. The two cartridges contained 0.7  grams of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, according to the report.

Robert asked her why she even needed the cannabis vape in the first place.

“My pain is unmatched. I went to a doctor here in Phoenix and he prescribed me a medical card after going through a history of my injuries from cracked ankle to hip impingement, no cartilage in the knees, the constant years of playing basketball nonstop,” she explained to Roberts.

She also expressed disappointment that Paul Whelan, a former marine who is also being detained in Russia, was not included in her prisoner swap. (RELATED: ‘Left Behind’: Former Marine Imprisoned In Russia Says Biden Admin ‘Failed’ Him)

“I walked on and didn’t see him, maybe he’s next. Maybe they will bring him next,” she said, according to NBC. “They closed the door and I was like, are you serious? You’re not going to let this man come home now.”