This was written by Kyle Larson-
Last Saturday, Russian authorities revealed that American WNBA player Brittney Griner was arrested while trying to leave Russia. Her high profile arrest comes at a time of extremely heightened tensions between Russia and the United States due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is notable that Russia waited so long to release information on Griner, possibly setting her up to be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations. Russian customs stated that Griner had hash oil in her baggage, and this crime can carry a sentence of up to 10 years. It is unknown if Griner’s arrest is due to her being American or if she is actually guilty of a crime, however, Russia, which is known for arresting Americans on false charges, is being extremely tight lipped. ESPN stated that Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX), who also attended Baylor University like Griner, is working to secure her release in conjunction with the State Department. This is not the first instance of Russia detaining and imprisoning Americans, however it has never happened at such a volatile period in the two countries relations. Griner, who is one of the only women to dunk a basketball regularly in games, is now a pawn in the dangerous, uncertain world of complex geopolitical affairs.