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NBA champion Robert Horry said Monday he can empathize with Brittney Griner’s situation.
Greiner was arrested in Russia in February and last week was found guilty of drug charges and sentenced to nine years in prison. The next move is likely to escalate negotiations with Moscow for a potential prisoner exchange.
Horry, who was at Clayton Kershaw’s Ping Pong 4 Purpose charity event, said in an interview with Fox News Digital that she has an idea of what the WNBA superstar is going through.
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“I had a friend who played in Russia and he had a similar situation and it’s just rough on athletes who go there and play. I know the money is good but for me, I’m too scared to go because you never know when you’re going to do something… But for Britney, I Feel sorry for her,” said the seven-time NBA champion.
“You go out there, you do what you love and you play for that country, you do a lot of great things for that country and all of a sudden they have an opportunity to punish you for not punishing you. , it’s just wrong. And hopefully, it’s weird to say, ‘Appeal and go back.’ I know that but hopefully she will be back home soon.”
Britney Greiner’s sentence draws attention to strained US-Russia relations
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov last month, urging him to accept the deal of Americans, Griner and Paul Whelan, who were jailed on espionage charges.
Lavrov said last week at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Cambodia that he was “ready to discuss” a prisoner exchange but only through a dedicated Russia-US channel set up by President Biden and President Vladimir Putin.
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“If the Americans try to engage in public diplomacy again and make loud statements about their intention to take some measures, that’s their business, I say their problem,” Lavrov said. “Americans generally have trouble observing calm and professional work contracts.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.