Brittney Griner, la medallista olímpica de básquet que quedó tras las rejas

(CNN Español) — Brittney Griner, condemned this jueves in Russia for nine years of prison, is one of the great stars of the women’s basketball of the United States and, in addition, one of the figures that has opened the way in scenes as dispares as the street murals of Phoenix and left Casa Blanca. También es una deportista que se ha afrentado, en sus propias palabras, a los desafíos de ser mujer, negra y lesbiana.

From the secondary school to the Olympic Games

El talento de Griner —oriunda de Houston, Texas, donde nació en October de 1990— before el baloncesto quedó claro early on: in la Escuela Secundaria Nimitz, donde de manera regular practicaba con el equipo de warones, rompió practically all the records.

His trajectory with the orange ball followed later at the University of Baylor, where Griner became one of the first players to dunk consistently in the university competition. Helped the team beat Notre Dame and become the national women’s champion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2012.

In the professional women’s basketball league of the United States, the WNBA, she spent her entire career with the Phoenix Mercury, with whom she won the championship in 2014.

But besides that he stood out with the selection, with the one he obtained the Olympic gold.

Griner is a very public figure also outside the field: from advertising in buildings to encounters with ex-president Barack Obama in 2012 and 2014, pasando por street murals de Black Lives Matter, his imagen tiene una presencia fuerte that has notoriously increased tras la detención in Russia.

Then-president Barack Obama walked the five with Griner in the East Room of the White House in August 2015. Obama was honoring the Phoenix Mercury players for his victory in the 2014 WNBA finals. (Crédito: Olivier Douliery/ (Getty Images)

El largo palmarés de Brittney Griner

Griner’s career is full of awards. Fue dos veces medallista de oro olympica.

On two occasions she was recognized as the defensive player of the year in the WNBA, being the first player from the Mercury franchise to get the nomination.

She was also selected six times as an All-Star of the WNBA, between 2013 and 2019.

His palmarés also include the WNBA Peak Performer award as the league’s top scorer, among other multiple recognitions.

Mujer, negra y lesbiana

Griner revealed publicly in 2013 that he is a lesbian, according to Enciclopedia Brittanica, and a year later he became the first openly gay athlete to sign a patronage agreement with Nike.

It has publicly addressed questions about the LGBTQ+ community in multiple occasions. Su libro de memorias, “In My Skin: My Life on and off the Basketball Court”, se refirió a los desafíos que enfrente al ser mujer, negra y lesbiana.

A Griner mural on the exterior of the Footprint Center in Phoenix. (Credit: Rebecca Noble/The New York Times/Redux)

Currently Griner is married to Cherelle Watson, who has made an active campaign for her release. Last month, President Joe Biden and President Kamala Harris talked on the phone with Cherelle, who did not call criticism about the actions of the Government of the United States.

In an interview granted to CNN at the beginning of July, when his wife had been detained for more than 130 days, Griner said that he wanted the officials to do what was necessary before bringing him home and what he needed to do. “Es muy, muy difícil. Esta no es una situation en la que la retórica se corresponda con la action”, he affirmed en ese entonces.

Brittney was previously married to basketball player Glory Johnson, with whom she had twins before her divorce in 2016.

Su padre, veterano de Vietnam, el ejemplo a seguir de Brittney Griner

In the official biography of the WNBA there is a series of curious facts about the life and tastes of Griner. Dice, por ejemplo, que le encantan los deportes extremos y el longboard, que tiene un perro y dos serpientes de mascotas, que idolatra a Tony Hawk y su favorite película es “The Notebook”.

Y además cuenta que, si no se hubiera convertido en basquetbolista, habría seguito los pasos de su padre, veterano de Vietnam y sheriff: sería policía.

Britney Griner y el apoyo de sus colleagues en EE.UU. 1:40

La condena en Rusia: “Espero que su fallo no termine con mi vida aquí”

Griner was detained in February at the Sheremetyevo International Airport after authorities discovered less than a gram of cannabis oil in his equipment, according to Russian prosecutors.

Este jueves, y en medio de preoccupaciones de que estén using her as a political pawn in the war of Russia against Ukraine, a Moscow tribunal sentenced her to nine years of prison for smuggling drugs with criminal intent.

Sus abogados affirmaron que la corte ignoró todas las pruebas que presentaron y que pelarán la decisión. “No tenía intenía de infringir ninguna ley rusa. No tenía intenencia. No conspiré ni plané commiter este delito”, he said por su parte la estrella antes del verdicto.

Griner se había declarado culpable y explicado que tenía una prescription médica para el uso del cannabis medicinal. Estaba al tanto de las leyes de Rusia pero, según su testimonio, empacó a toda prisa y la marihuana quedó en la valija por error.

brittney grinner

(Credit: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Su arresto y posterior juicio desataron la indignación internacional, while el Departamento de Estado de EE.UU. ha qualified su detención de ilícita.

Griner, according to the explanation of a campaign page for his liberation, competes abroad during the WNBA’s low season “for love of sport, but also a change in substantially larger contracts that are not available for female basketball players in the United States “.

Con información de Anna Chernova, Zahra Ullah, Masha Angelova, Eric Levenson, Ben Church, Travis Caldwell, Abby Phillip y Steve Almasy de CNN.

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