“A Vindication for Agitation”: Dave Zirin on How Brittney Griner’s Supporters Secured Her Freedom

Basketball star Brittney Griner landed in the United States early Friday after nearly 10 months of detention in Russia. Griner was freed Thursday in a dramatic prisoner swap between the United States and Russia, with the Biden administration agreeing to free Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer who was serving a 25-year sentence. Griner had been held in Russia since February, when she was arrested at a Moscow airport for possessing a small amount of cannabis oil, and her status as an openly gay Black woman made freeing her from a country with anti-LGBT laws a pressing concern for supporters. But journalist Dave Zirin says the sports world was still slow to rally to Griner’s cause due to sexism, racism and homophobia. “The amount of erasure and deliberate ignoring of Brittney Griner’s case was apparent to anybody who listens to sports radio or watches sports television,” says Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and host of the Edge of Sports podcast. “If it was Steph Curry or Tom Brady imprisoned overseas … the cacophony would have been so loud. Yet with Brittney Griner there was silence.”

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  1. Great News! All eleventeen WNBA Fans, most already in Women's correctional facilities, will be elated.

  2. Everyone who speaks highly about America is getting paid period . The equality and unfairness still resides but they remain quite because of the dollar 💵

  3. Brittany is NOT what the Niggros Nation Need they need Restoration and REPARATIONS MEANING LAND and MONEY OWED LEGALLY welcome home.

  4. With her Stupidity she secured the release of a Real Criminal.
    how these arrogant people think they´re above the law.

  5. Wife of who/what? Brittney? This society is sick & sickening; when a society institutionalises practices that reject the fundamental laws of nature, then you know that it's beyond saving. No wonder this country is the world's leading banana republic as well as the unparralleled exporter of violence & anti-nature practices. No, Russia/Putin is in a totally different league; that's why they don't tolerate your kind of confusion & confusion. Long live Russia/Putin!

  6. Brittany Greiner is not Vindicated in my eyes. She has no backbone so I don't know what's holding her up. If you're willing to be traded for a merchant of death and you're okay with that it would appear that it doesn't take much for these people to sell their souls. She's probably also the same kind of person to use children as a shield during gunfire.. a basketball player in exchange for an arms dealer, i swear this is one hell of a fcked up planet with the worst kind of people elevated to the top…i say let the planet burn, serves the humans right

  7. Griner will be living large on the money Putin gave her to stage this so that he could get a life long associate out of federal lock up. Hope the FBI will be monitoring her and her wife's income sources for the rest of their lives.

  8. lol ridiculous, merchant of death for a basketball player who broke one of russia’s strictest laws. im sorry maybe this is controversial but they should both be rotting in prison

  9. Paul Wheelan, big Corporate Executive in Russia…
    not so innocent as Brittney.

  10. "Unjustly detained"? Biden working that Black/LGBTQ Identity Politics agenda, as always. That's why we have a luggage stealing demonic "They/Them" nuclear energy waste official. Now if you're Black and LGBTQ, you can bring illegal drugs into another country and THEY are the bad ones for treating you like every other lawbreaker in their country. The fact this man can say her "plight" ignored is absurd. People will not shut the f*ck up about entitled Black/LGTBQs that apparently want to disregard the laws of other countries and BG and he's acting like the whole world should around a basketball playing druggie stuck in a prison for HER CRIMES.

  11. COMPLETE BS!!!!!!! HMMMMMMMM………..I WONDER if she will wrap herself in OUR Flag, and Thank America?????? Complete Jack ASS

  12. Don’t take Russian blood money! Very little sympathy for her and now a war criminal is free

  13. Can’t wait to see us passenger planes shot out of the sky or American being held prisoner for trades that won’t happens because we are not important enough. I can’t wait to see this spill out on the streets in the us

  14. Congratulations America has exchanged a prisoner with nickname The merchant of death who is responsible for weaponizing militant groups in Africa and other places who is responsible for a thousands and thousands of deaths for a weed smoking WNBA basketball player it is good that it was not a bad trade

  15. America trades the worlds deadliest arms dealer "The merchant of death" for a drug addled basketball player!? WTF where we thinking!!! How many times does Russia have to make us look like a complete drooling idiotic fool on the world stage over and over again. And these morons celebrate it!

  16. KUDOS for The *WNBA and sports Family….

    Where is the American Schoolteacher and the American Soldier? Are they still in jail under "Intolerable Circumstances"? Is anyone fighting for them?

    Why hasn't *The Earth opened up?⁶

  17. What about Sergeant Jewel Scott that was begging for a life a national TV saying that they're going to kill her what about that young lady she just disappeared in her own land serving her own country the United States of America where is that young lady 😔

  18. A terrorist walks free while this driug smuggler is home as a decorated Marine who fought for her freefom rots in prison

  19. 🇺🇲🧢💙 YAY President Joe Biden and his Administration! 🦅🗽 Welcome home Brittney Griner !! 🏀🍀🎉🇺🇲

  20. Paul Whelan should of been set free long before Brittney Griner. Paul Whelan is completely innocent and Brittney Griner is a criminal. Paul Whelan has also been imprisoned longer so thats another reason he should of been free first.

  21. This should read, POTUS, a white man freed another POC, but as usual, white men who free POC gets little or no credit.

  22. This incentivizes Russia to incarcerate virtually any American for virtually any petty crime.

  23. We r the big joke of the world. This man has killed many. Britt is a puppet. Liberal agenda.

  24. Trumpf refused a Putin offer to swap Bouth for Whelan. He told Putin he doesn't like soldiers who get captured

  25. Glad she is home. HUGE Hypocrisy when it comes to US marijuana/possession incarceration rates. This was a really bad trade. A GLOBAL ARMS DEALER vs gay basketball player, WOW ! This man is wrong. President Putin got one over on us under extreme pressure from Biden supporters. This administration is indebted to the Black community and the LBGT, ETC community. Time to pay the piper for that election and stop taking the black vote for granted. Welcome home Britney, but next time leave the cannabis home when you leave the state.

  26. Why you keep saying a small amount what dose it matters it is a crime and o since when the athlete get more marks than the American soilder ungrateful country the veteran is not counted

  27. Brittany was a model American representing the wonderful traditional values of the pilgrims. We can't get enough of that kind of good news.

  28. For those who are upset that a civilian was rescued over an ex-marine who sworn to protect us, let’s take a closer at this ex-marine, from wiki page: “After a court-martial conviction in January 2008 on multiple counts "related to larceny", he was sentenced to 60 days restriction, reduction to pay grade E-4, and a bad conduct discharge.[9][10] The specific charges against him included "attempted larceny, three specifications of dereliction of duty, making a false official statement, wrongfully using another’s social security number, and ten specifications of making and uttering checks without having sufficient funds in his account for payment."”

  29. Brittney. You’re are not welcome. To perhaps billions of people, it appeared you were begging to return to this nation you alleged is racist. Allegedly you are a millionaire. After leaving this racist USA, why did you return?

  30. How many NBA & WNAB players who are millionaires or billionaires who hate white America continued to live here? Brittney plainly said she hates our national anthem which many believe strongly implies she hates many white people. She has lots of money. Why did it appear was she begging to return to a nation she hates?

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