Justin Bieber, Jada Pinkett Smith and 50 Cent offer support to US basketballer jailed in Russia

·TV Reporter, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·2-min read
Justin Bieber has offered to help Brittney Griner. (Getty)
Justin Bieber has offered to help Brittney Griner. (Getty)

Justin Bieber is amongst the stars who have expressed their shock and offered their support to US basketball player Brittney Griner who has been jailed in Russia.

Griner, 31, is a two-time US Olympic champion who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, but was sentenced to nine years in prison for bringing cannabis oil into Russia on Thursday.

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Singer Bieber posted an Instagram story where he offered his help to Griner, saying: “this hurts. If anyone knows any way I can help please let me know.”

US' Women's National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, waits for the verdict inside a defendants' cage during a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022. - A Russian court found Griner guilty of smuggling and storing narcotics after prosecutors requested a sentence of nine and a half years in jail for the athlete. (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA / POOL / AFP) (Photo by EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years. (AFP via Getty Images)

Other celebrities also tweeted their shock at the sentence.

Jada Pinkett Smith wrote: “On the same day we got justice for Breonna (Taylor)… I find out that Brittney Griner just got nine years in Russia #FreeBrittney.”

Mia Farrow said the news was “heartbreaking” and added: “The Russian judge ignored everything Britney Griner had stated."

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50 Cent said: “This is wild, smh (shaking my head).”

“You don’t ever want to get caught up in the politics, They are gonna tell her like 10 years for a vape pen, watch.”

US' Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on August 4, 2022. - Lawyers for US basketball star Brittney Griner, who is standing trial in Russia on drug charges, said on July 26, 2022 they hoped she would receive a
Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February. (AFP via Getty Images)

US President Joe Biden has pledged to continue battling for Griner's release, saying: "Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney.

"It's unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates."

Olympian Griner was first detained in February at Moscow Sheremetyevo airport just days before Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the athlete has just been sentenced.

The White House is reportedly considering a prisoner swap deal which would involve the US handing over arms dealers to Russia in exchange for Griner's release.

Watch: Brittney Griner pleads guilty as Russian court sentences her to nine years

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