Brittney Griner Recounts Russian Prison Guards’ Attempt to Place Her in Men’s Cell

Written by on May 9, 2024



*MSNBC’s Joy Reid hosted an exclusive two-part interview with WNBA star Brittney Griner on May 6. During the conversation, Griner shared her firsthand account of time in Russian detainment in 2022, and subsequent release from a brutal penal colony, as outlined in her new book, “Coming Home.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist said the conditions were frigid and took a toll on her health, USA Today reports. 

“The mattress had a huge blood stain on it and they give you these thin two sheets, so you’re basically laying on bars,” Griner said.

“We had spiders above my bed, making a nest. My dreads started to freeze. They would just stay wet and cold and I was getting sick. You got to do what you got to do to survive.”

Joy Reid - Brittney Griner
Joy Reid – Brittney Griner – via MSNBC

According to Griner, prisoners in the penal colony endured harsh conditions and mandatory labor. 

“It’s a work camp. You go there to work. There’s no rest,” she said.

Elsewhere in the conversation, Griner said Russian prison guards attempted to place her in a men’s cell.

“I was terrified when I was thinking about going to that jail. Because I was like, ‘What game are they gonna play?’” Griner said. “And I soon found one of the games [was] trying to tell me to go into one of the men’s cells. And I’m like, ‘I’m not going in that cell.’ And then the other guard said something in Russian and shook his hand and then they take me to the women’s side. And I was just, like, ‘See, it’s a game,’ you know?”

In February 2022, Griner was playing in Russia when she was jailed after vape cartridges were found in her luggage at the Moscow airport. After six months on lockdown in the country, she received a nine-year sentence. She spent 10 months imprisoned before returning to the U.S. in exchange for infamous arms dealer Viktor Bout.

You can order Griner’s book, “Coming Home,” here.

READ MORE FROM EURWEB.COM: Brittney Griner Speaks on Her Russian Imprisonment As A Black, Queer Woman on MSNBC’s ‘The ReidOut’ At 7pm ET Tonight | WATCH

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