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A prison swap for Victor Bout, who is a monster, but I'm so relieved she will not die a slow death in a Russian prison now.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/08/politics/brittney-griner-released/index.html

A prison swap for Victor Bout, who is a monster, but I'm so relieved she will not die a slow death in a Russian prison now. https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/08/politics/brittney-griner-released/index.html

41 comments

I'm happy she has been swapped but I'm bummed that the trade was such a bad deal. Russians know they got the more valuable trade. They really should have gotten Paul Whelan as part of the trade too. Or at least the other forgotten detainee, Sarah Krivanek.

There really needs to be more media attention paid to the plight of Sarah Krivanek, a 46-year-old teacher and mother from Colorado who has been imprisoned in Moscow since December 2021, well before the Ukraine war. She was charged for assaulting her abusive, drunk Russian boyfriend Mikhail Karavaev. He had beaten her up in a drunken rage and she fought back and cut his nose. He even tried to retract is police claim, but she is still locked up there. After the fight, she sought assistance from the US Embassy but was arrested at the airport trying to leave Russia. Human rights activists didn't even know she was there until they went to visit Griner!

Still, I'm happy Griner is free. Her family must be thrilled.

I had not hear about Sarah Krivanek - thank you so much for bringing her to my attention.

Exactly! NO ONE has heard about her! Her story is horrific and heartbreaking.

[–] WinterWitch 15 points Edited

This is why I feel conflicted as well. She is not the only American being unjustly imprisoned, but she is the only one that will be released because she’s a sports star.

Thank you for bringing Krivanek to my attention as well. I just looked her up to see if there have been any developments and thought I'd share: https://www.reuters.com/world/russian-court-orders-deportation-us-woman-assault-case-2022-11-10/

Yes, I'd seen that. Unfortunately, Moscow hasn't been good at communicating their intent regarding Sarah. They have told her before that she had deportation and a plane scheduled in Nov, but that turned out to be untrue. Hopefully they do deport her on the 15th or approve a visa so she can leave Russia. I fear they will continue to play games. Its not over until she is on a plane out of Russia unfortunately.

Always the fear with Russia. Praying she gets to come home this month.

Releasing an arms dealer during a war is absolutely stupid.

Also, her carrying the stuff she did to Russia was also absolutely stupid on her part. Does she deserve to go to a Russian prison and suffer? No. but I never would have agreed to such a bad deal to bring her back.

Everyone involved engaged of glue-sniffling levels of dipshittery imho.

Why do you think Russia didn't make that shit up? Griner had been to Russia many times before this, so if she really had hashish oil, I'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt that it was an unfortunate accident. But I don't trust that this actually happened.

I am also conflicted about her release. She brought cannabis into a country in which it is against the law. She knew this. She is also a lesbian and Russia is extremely homophobic.

Russia got back an arms dealer that had received a 25-year sentence.

It feels like a bitter victory to me.

Meanwhile, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan remains in prison. Whelan was convicted in 2020 of spying, after a trial held entirely behind closed doors and was sentenced to 16 years in a maximum security penal colony. He denies all the charges.

(Most articles call him an ex-Marine. My dad was a Marine. It’s always “former” Marine, not ex-Marine. “Once a Marine, always a Marine”. Yeah, drummed into my head for 18 years).

She allegedly brought hashish oil. So says Russia.

But I understand what you mean about a bitter victory. Thrilled for Griner and her family, but very worried about Whelan and anyone else unjustly imprisoned over there.

[–] LunarMoose 1 points Edited

honestly think Biden chose her because he wanted the press to laud him for her release. Paul Whelan would get fewer accolades. This was a full court press to 'court the press'

very sad for Whelan who has been sick and should have been our priority.
\and LOL if that weren't true - he wouldn't have had her wife in his office and the press for the release.
(speaking to those that hope this weren't true)

I was just reading this and I am so pleased!

She was clearly being used as a pawn so that Russia could get a swap for some real nefarious character.

This also highlights the problem that the WNBA doesn't pay nearly as well as the NBA. I don't see too many NBA players going over to play in Russia because they get all the money they need to stay at home. NPR goes in more detail below, but the average WNBA player makes about $130K. The NBA players get millions.

https://www.npr.org/2022/03/07/1084945010/brittney-griner-russia-wnba

Question from a European with almost no relevant basketball knowledge:

How many people do actually watch WNBA in the US? The NBA is a huge deal, even I know that. And even I can name quite a few current and former male players. Before Griner was all over the news internationally, I could name exactly zero female ones.

Of course, it's a huge pay gap, but it's also not a salary to sniff at when you look at it from a "regular" person's perspective. You can have a pretty nice life making six figures, no need to risk your safety during the off season in Russia or similar countries.

I'm sure many posters here will not like what I'm saying, but....it's always a question of demand, at the end of the day. In Europe, the players in the male soccer leagues makes all the money because the clubs make all the money, due to public interest. The women's leagues are almost irrelevant. People usually get more interested once a world cup is on, but after that? Back to "hardly anyone cares". That's the reality.

People may not like to hear that reality, and understandably so, but you are right. The problem is that the WNBA doesn’t generate near the revenue of the NBA. In fact, WNBA actually loses money and NBA basically has to subsidize WNBA in order for it to even exist.

Which is sad, and it really sucks that women’s leagues don’t draw the same viewership as men’s, but that’s another discussion.

It's true, the WNBA is nowhere nearly as profitable as the NBA (not by a long shot). However, their pay to profits still is not equitable (that's women's pay to the WNBA profits). The NBA pays close to 50% of the profits it receives to compensate players. The WNBA pays only 20% to its players.

Nobody watches the WNBA. It loses money and is subsidized by the NBA. Every time anyone brings up the WNBA this is also brought up.

Oh, I am totally aware of the disparity in profits between the NBA and the WNBA. As the poster LunarMoose has pointed out, the WNBA is meaner with the salary. I was really trying to point out why a WNBA athlete might be tempted to go to Russian and an NBA athlete wouldn't.

Absolutely. The only reason she was in Russia to begin with is the outrageous pay gap between male and female players.

While I understand she had opportunities to make good money there, she had no business going to Russia after the war in Ukraine had started. She was strongly discouraged for this exact reason. I hope other Americans and Europeans remember this and are disinclined from going to these countries that engage is state-sponsored framing and kidnapping of visitors. She will be showered with media attention and sponsorships when she returns home - I'm hoping she uses her moment to advocate for other Americans and Europeans that are still unfairly detained in Russia.

I believe she was arrested shortly before the invasion? But I'm sure she and all other players were warned not to go, as the US was sounding the alarms for months prior. I agree that Americans and Europeans just shouldn't go to these countries.

Her wife said that they're going to advocate for others unfairly detained, so here's hoping they can use their platform like you said.

Sorry but this is not good news. I don't care if she is a woman. The trade was for someone with countless lives on their hands who will be back out to do more and help Russia kill more people. Griner is a shit person and didn't deserve to be released.

Griner is a shit person and didn't deserve to be released.

I understand why there are some mixed feelings in regards to who we traded + others still detained, but this was very disturbing to read here of all places. I want all American citizens in Russia back home, but I'm happy we've got one back.

[–] darksunset 11 points Edited

Russia only released her because they knew Biden would take a political hit. Griner is despised by most conservatives and wokebros. They weren't gonna trade that veteran or a nobody that conservative media could support the release of. Whats worse, is the Saudis negotiated this trade in return for Biden's administration dropping the Khashoggi lawsuit. Going forward, this puts us in weaker positions to bargain as these enemy states will amp up these practices of unfairly detaining Americans with Kangaroo courts.

[+] [Deleted] -7 points