Brittney Yevette Griner (born October 18, 1990) is an American professional basketball player for the Phoenix Mercury of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

She played college basketball for the Baylor Lady Bears in Waco, Texas. She is the only NCAA basketball player to both score 2,000 points and block 500 shots.[4] In 2012, the three-time All-American was named the AP Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

In 2009, Griner was named the nation's No. 1 high school women's basketball player by She was selected to the 2009 Phoenix Mercury All-American basketball team.

Griner was on the United States women's Olympic team in 2016, and led them to victory at the Rio Olympics. In 2020, Griner protested the Star Spangled Banner and stated she wouldn't be on the court while the national anthem was played during game openers.

Brittney Griner, an American basketball star considered by the U.S. government to be "wrongfully detained" in Russia, should not be described as a "hostage," a Russian official told NBC News.

As the trial for WNBA star Brittany Griner continues in Russia, politicians, celebrities and ordinary people who are outraged that Griner could face 10 years in prison for packing some hash oil cartridges in her carry-on have ramped up their push for her release.

Grassroots protests have been organized across the United States, from Phoenix, Arizona, to Harlem in New York. A petition on surpassed 310,000 signatures. Celebrities, athletes and prominent politicians continue to pile on the pressure.

The near universal support for Griner is by no means surprising. Not only is she a beloved, internationally recognized athlete, but the majority of Americans (68%, to be precise) support legalizing marijuana.

Seventy percent of Americans also support clearing past cannabis convictions from criminal records for nonviolent offenders. 

Excepting her status as a pro athlete, Griner would be subject to the disproportionately higher rates of enforcement for cannabis possession that affect marginalized communities in the United States.