Jada Pinkett Smith, WNBA Teammates & More Outraged At Brittney Griner’s 9 Year Prison Sentence

Tons of celebrities spoke out against the sentencing that the WNBA star received after being found guilty of drug charges in Russia.

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Jada Pinkett Smith, WNBA Players, and many more were infuriated after Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for drug charges in Russia, on Thursday, August 4. Many celebrities and sports stars from across the country continued the calls for Brittney, 31, to be released in light of the verdict. “On the same day we finally got some justice for Breonna [Taylor]… I find out that Brittney Griner just got 9 years in Russia,” she wrote on her Instagram story along with broken heart emojis and the hashtag “#FreeBrittney.”

Jada expressed her heartbreak at Brittney’s verdict. (Instagram/Jada Pinkett-Smith)

Justin Bieber also took to his Instagram Story to share the news and offer whatever aid he can to the WNBA star. “THIS HURTS,” he wrote. “If anyone knows of anyway I can help please let me know.”

Besides Jada and Justin, Brittney’s teammates and fellow WNBA players expressed anger at the ruling, and called for further justice for her on social media. Las Vegas Aces player A’Ja Wilson shared a series of exclamation points, and Brittney’s Phoenix Mercury teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith wrote, “Bulls–t!” seemingly in reference to the verdict. Seattle Storm player Jewell Loyd tweeted a series of broken-heart emojis. “Hearts heavy, thinking and praying for Brit. Please keep her and her family lifted,” former WNBA player Swin Cash tweeted.

Journalist Arielle Chambers also shared her heartbreak at the verdict. “We love you. FREE BRITTNEY GRINER,” she wrote. “She can’t log out or walk out. She’s in that prison. Everything freakin sucks man.”

President Joe Biden released a statement shortly after she was sentenced. The president vowed to keep up the fight to bring her and Paul Whelan, another detained American, back home. “Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.  My administration will continue to work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue to bring Brittney and Paul Whelan home safely as soon as possible,” he said.

Besides Biden, WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released a joint statement calling the verdict “unjustified and unfortunate,” but they were also hopeful that an agreement would be found to bring her back to her home country. “The WNBA and NBA’s commitment to her safe return has not wavered and it is our hope that we are near the end of this process of finally bringing BG home to the United States,” they said.

Brittney was sentenced to 9 years in pirson on drug charges in Russia. (Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/Shutterstock)

Despite Brittney’s sentencing, there have reportedly been plans to propose a prisoner swap with Biden supposedly offering to release arms dealer Viktor Bout, who’s been nicknamed “The Merchant of Death,” in exchange for Brittney and Paul, 52, per CNNThe reported proposal has been criticized by former President Donald Trump. “It certainly doesn’t seem like a very good trade,” he said in a recent podcast interview.

Brittney’s lawyers have said that they plan to appeal the decision, and they also criticized the decision in a statement to NBC News. “The court completely ignored all the evidence of the defense, and most importantly, the guilty plea,” they said.

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