Sports world reacts after Brittney Griner is sentenced to 9 years in prison in Russia

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By , Audacy Sports

Brittney Griner's detainment in Russia was a top story in the news world on Thursday, when it was reported that she had been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on charges of drug possession and smuggling.

The WNBA superstar had previously pleaded guilty to carrying cannabis vape cartridges with her on a flight to Russia, where she plays professionally during the WNBA offseason.

US officials have characterized Griner's imprisonment as "wrongful detainment," while her supporters have argued that she is a political prisoner being used as a pawn due to fraught relations between the US and Russia amid the war in Ukraine.

The US government has reportedly been working to secure her release from Russia as part of a potential prisoner swap.

Griner's seemingly harsh sentencing was a trending topic Thursday on social media, where countless athletes and journalists registered their disbelief at the unfortunate turn of events.

Among the most vocal supporters were Griner's Phoenix Mercury teammates, as well as others in the WNBA and around women's basketball:

There were many notable figures from the realm of men's sports chiming in as well:

Meanwhile, many notable journalists expressed their sympathy and outrage as well:

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