Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, has spoken out for the first time since a Russian court ruled to uphold the latter’s nine-year prison sentence on drug charges late last month, calling it “absurd.” 

During an appearance on ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday, Cherelle Griner blasted the court’s Oct. 25 decision to deny the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s appeal of the sentence, pointing to the apparent discrepancies in Russia’s judicial system.  

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is seen on the bottom part of a TV screen as she waits to appear in a video link provided by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service prior to a hearing at the Moscow Regional Court in Moscow, Russia, on Oct. 25, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is seen on the bottom part of a TV screen as she waits to appear in a video link provided by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service prior to a hearing at the Moscow Regional Court in Moscow, Russia, on Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

“Honestly, it was just disheartening. It was a complete disbelief for me. I understand being in the field of law that every state, every country has their own rules, but this is just absurd,” she said. 

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“The crime and the punishment is disproportionate at its finest. There are people convicted of murder in Russia who [have] a sentence way less than B.G., and it just makes absolutely no sense to me.” 

Brittney Griner was arrested at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow on Feb. 17 after Russian officials say she was carrying vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Despite pleading guilty to the charges, the two-time Olympic gold medalist claimed she inadvertently brought the substances with her and did not intend to break the law.

Her attorneys said after the appeal was denied that the sentence was “excessive” and contradictory. 

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom after a hearing in Khimki, Russia, just outside Moscow, on Aug. 4, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a courtroom after a hearing in Khimki, Russia, just outside Moscow, on Aug. 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

“The verdict contains numerous defects and we hoped that the court of appeal would take them into consideration. We still think the punishment is excessive and contradicts to the existing court practice,” their statement at the time read.

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Cherelle Griner added that at this point “there is nothing more to expect from a legal standpoint.”

“That was the complete end of it,” she said. “There is nothing more to expect from a legal standpoint, and all eggs now are in a basket for our government and for America to see how important this issue is because this could happen to anybody, and we should be praying that we have a country that recognizes the importance of that and are willing to actually go get our Americans and bring them back home.”

Brittney Griner’s legal team did not say whether they will further appeal the ruling, and noted that her “biggest fear” is that a possible prisoner exchange will not happen.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner listens to a verdict in a courtroom in Khimki, Russia, just outside Moscow, on Aug. 4, 2022.

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner listens to a verdict in a courtroom in Khimki, Russia, just outside Moscow, on Aug. 4, 2022. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP)

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“At this point, there’s no other way for me to see it except the fact that this is political,” Cherelle Griner said Tuesday. “To see that the totality of the circumstances of who she is as a person was not taken into account when they rendered a decision, it makes me feel like at this point it has to be political.”

She added that the last time she spoke to her wife a week before the appeal hearing, the WNBA star revealed that her “mind is fading in here.” 

“It was just so disheartening to hear,” said Cherelle Griner.

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