Revealing Details About Prison From Hell

Michele_Morrone via Deposit Photos

Brittney Griner, the WNBA star who endured nearly 10 months in a Russian prison, shared harrowing details of her experience during a recent ABC News report. Griner, who faced drug-related charges after cannabis oil was found in her luggage, described contemplating suicide and enduring abhorrent conditions in prison.

Griner, a nine-time WNBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist, was stopped at a security checkpoint in Russia in February 2022. Despite cannabis being legal in Arizona, where she resides and plays for the Phoenix Mercury, its possession in Russia is a serious offense. Griner faced the prospect of up to 10 years in a notorious penal colony.

During her detainment, Griner grappled with suicidal thoughts, but thoughts of her loved ones kept her going. She shared excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home,” which recounts her detention and will be released soon.

The WNBA athlete, known for her off-season stints playing overseas, described the terrifying moment when she realized the cannabis oil was in her bag. Despite her unintentional mistake, she acknowledged the severity of the situation.

Griner faced atrocious conditions in prison, including a cramped cell, inadequate hygiene facilities, and meager meals. Her description painted a grim picture of her daily struggle for survival. “I felt less than human,” she said.

“I wanted to take my life more than once,” she said, reading from her book. “I felt like leaving here so badly.”

The emotional toll of her ordeal lingers, compounded by racist and homophobic abuse she continues to face. Griner tearfully expressed her ongoing struggle to forgive herself and move past the trauma.

Despite the challenges, Griner found solace in the unwavering support of her wife, WNBA colleagues, and fans, who rallied behind her during her darkest days.

“It’s been going on for a while,” Griner said. “I try to forget. That used to work until I realized suppressing things is not the way to go. But I know who I am, and the village I have, the people around me, know who I am. And that’s enough for me.”

“I don’t think I’ve really gotten through it all the way,” Griner added. “I let everybody down. I try to give myself grace. People say I should give myself some grace. It’s just so hard for me to do that.”

After 134 days of detention, Griner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in an even harsher penal colony. Her release finally came on Dec. 8, 2022, in a rare prisoner exchange, ending her traumatic ordeal. “The guilty plea was to take ownership of what happened,” she said.

Hear more of the harrowing details in the video below.

Have you ever faced a situation where your determination to survive was tested to its limits?