Brittney Griner asked about ‘her sick thoughts’ for being gay in Russian prison

Author: Gabriella Ferlita

The basketball player spoke about her time in the Russian prison. (Getty)

Basketball star Brittney Griner has spoken out about the homophobia she faced whilst in Russian detention in her new book, explaining that she was asked about “her sick thoughts”.

The WNBA star – who is expecting a baby with her wife Cherelle Griner this summer – served 10 months in a Russian prison before being released in a prisoner swap. 

The athlete was recently honoured by Baylor University, Texas, and has opened up about her experience navigating the “mouldy” prison, where she said she “was getting sick” in her new book Coming Home.

Griner was arrested in February 2022, when authorities found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She was eventually sentenced to nine years on drug charges.

In a 2 May interview with The New York Times to reflect on her book, Griner revealed to the outlet that she “was asked about her ‘sick thoughts’ and ‘drug problem’ whilst she was incarcerated in Russia. She also said she was “pressed to admit that she was guilty”.

The outlet also told how she “lay awake at night, anxious thoughts looping through her head” in a bed which was far too small for her 6ft 9 frame, preoccupied with the very real fear of being institutionalised for her sexuality. In Russia, homosexuality is often regarded as a mental illness. 

Griner said: “Going from being free, you know, having freedom of movement, to have absolutely nothing, not even the necessities…That quick change to being in a box, not knowing what’s coming next, what’s going to happen tomorrow, or the middle of the night when you hear a door open and footsteps coming to your door, and you’re like, ‘Is this the moment?’”

The athlete had no personal hygiene items whilst in prison – not even soap, toothpaste, or toilet paper. “I’ve never been so dirty in my life,” she told the outlet, admitting that the humiliation caused her to consider suicide. “I felt horrible,” she said.

If this story has affected you, you can call the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline on 988 anytime in the US. In the UK, call the Samaritans on 116 123.

Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Gabriella Ferlita

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