Britney Greiner, imprisoned in Russia and hostage to a game that transcends her

The American basketball champion, held in Putin’s prisons, has become a bargaining chip between the Kremlin and Washington.

Calling his daughter Britney in America the warlike and highly reactionary father of George Bush is like naming his son Kevin in the cozy France of François Mitterrand. That doesn’t give her many advantages… In her 2014 autobiography “In My Skin” (“In My Skin”), basketball player Britney Greiner, 31, admitted today, that she “slept for a long time, frightened.” I think seriously: As long as I wake up normally tomorrow morning.”

Dark-skinned, uncomfortable in the body of her giant, and discovering herself as a pre-teen lesbian, she wondered what a kind Lord would do for her to be born this way. very different. Over the years, in the story “A Child Returning” As The United States Adore Them, Britney Grenier has managed, beyond cynicism and prejudice, to become a model of tolerance and resilience to thousands of young Americans. By giving up his first name for the nickname BG (his initials, but also Big Girl names). and above all by establishing her position as one of the most famous basketball players in history: 2.06 meters, 2.22 meters wingspan, two Olympic titles (2016, 2021) and the ability, rare in women’s basketball, to perform the plunge: the art of scoring by throwing the ball in The hoop, with one or two hands, is far above the circle.

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With a height of 2.06 meters, she was one of the few who managed to “dunk”

This year, her fate has shifted to an underworld as Jean le Carré: here is the hostage of shadow spy games where beings are mere pawns in the chess played by nations. Haggard, waxy complexion, sunken cheeks, dull eyes, and forearms, all tattooed, and bound in thick handcuffs, B.J., on August 4, received a Khimki court verdict: nine years in prison and a fine of one million rubles, approximately 16,000 euros. His crime: entering Russia in February with two cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil. She pleaded guilty, arguing that she used the substance legally in the United States to manage pain.

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“I made an honest mistake and I hope your decision doesn’t end my life here,” she said faintly. His judges had nothing to raise. into the hole! Because Britney Greiner is especially wrong to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The star of WNBA, the US Women’s Professional Basketball League, where the maximum salary is 200,000 euros per year, has been hiding in Yekaterinburg since 2014. There, in Siberia, the oligarch, Baron Zinc, built a fleet of women’s basketball. Risk price: $1 million half-season. “And so. We have to go to a communist country to get paid like the capitalists.” Ironically, Diana Torassi, NBA legend (five Olympic titles from 2004 to 2021), and Phoenix Greiner’s co-worker, is a figure in the LGBTQIA+ case and is a little lost On political developments in Russia.

In Khimki Court, 26 July.

© ItarTass / Bestimage

Britney Greiner arrived right after the invasion of Ukraine, a godsend for the Kremlin. A valuable bargaining chip. Joe Biden has already offered to trade basketball player Paul Whelan, a former Marine who was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for espionage, for Victor Bout. Born in Tajikistan, this Soviet pilot inspired the character of Nicolas Cage in “Lord of War” in 2005. This mustachioed man, a true bastard, is serving a twenty-five year prison sentence in the United States for attempting to sell surface-to-air missiles to a terrorist group Americans targeted. He is above all one of the century’s greatest arms smugglers. He supplied warlords in Africa and the Middle East with bombs, AK-47s and machine guns, until his arrest in Thailand in 2008 and extradition to the United States in 2010.

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Cheryl, his wife, campaigned intensely for his release

Perhaps all this will not be settled, as in the old days, on a pale early morning, on a bridge in Berlin or at a border point in the Kuril Islands. Eventually, Britney will meet her wife Cheryl in Phoenix. The reunion scene on the sound of “A Milli” by singer Lil Wayne, their favorite song, will make America cry. But I’m not sure BG will come out unscathed from these 160 days in hell. Even if his whole life has been pitfalls, pitfalls and victories against high winds.

The daughter of a sheriff, a Vietnam veteran, and a homemaker, Britney spent her childhood in Houston, Texas. His extraordinary body earned him ridicule and harassment. The boys scold her and pinch her breasts to check if she is a man. In her autobiography, she testifies: “All my life, I have been called a ‘freak’ [monstre]. I like my body to be unique. I hate labels. I was told I had to choose between feminine and masculine. I want to be both, because that’s what I am.”

When she reveals her homosexuality to her father, he expels her (they have since reconciled). She turns to her coach, who told her, “As long as you’re playing at that level and planting baskets, you’re doing whatever you want with your life.” At the same time, in 2007, a YouTube video shows that she is serializing famous dippers. It’s exciting. “I said to myself: This is the future of basketball, remembers the legend Diana Torassi. You will steal our job.”

The Kremlin calls Victor Bout

The Kremlin calls Victor Bout “the merchant of death”, which thus recalls his connections with arms dealers. Here in 2010, when he was extradited from Thailand to the United States.

© Reuters

In the NCAA, the North American University Championship, BG, registered at Baylor University (Texas), blows all records. Champion in 2012 with 40 wins and zero losses. He’s never seen one like him. She was selected a year later in first place during the “Draft” by the Mercury of Phoenix, a women’s league franchise. His reputation is that Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, invited him to a summer camp with his team. “Soon a woman in the NBA?” Daily headlines “L’Equipe” 2013. The case will not end. But a legend was born.

On the court, BG has proven herself to be the showwoman. She dances, provokes, dodges like a lioness, punches opposing lines, catching the most bouncing balls. To counter it, you need not one but two opponents. Wearing a 54-and-only Nike men’s shorts and shirt, Britney Greiner is the first gay muse to make $1 million a year. During her first season in the WNBA, she approached suspension for refusing to comply with mandatory makeup during the presentation of “Beginners,” The New Kids. “I don’t need that shit,” she says.

She was born in an atypical body, confirming that she is unnatural. His private, tumultuous life makes headlines. She first married Glory Johnson, another basketball player. The couple accuse each other of domestic violence and then separate. Her “bad girl” look and multiple tattoos make her kind of feminine Dennis Rodman (Chicago Bulls star in the ’90s). BG has two intertwined female symbols engraved on the skin, a sign of her pride in being a “gay,” and on the small part of the back, two skulls and the slogan: “Laugh now. Cry later.” Provocative, upset by the gossip of social networks accusing her of being a man, she likes to publish photos of her very elegant and half-naked. All this was before.

A provocative show, she takes revenge on the time when she was called a monster

Where he is held is kept a secret, but Britney Greiner is now rotting in a prison in Novoy Grechino, an hour from Red Square, in a former orphanage that has been converted into a prison. In her cell, according to TASS, she was reading the Bible, “Demons” by Dostoevsky, Kafka, James Patterson and Keith Richards’ memoirs. From her, once arrogant and oppressive, we saw during short public hearings only a frightened face and an embarrassed, gaunt silhouette. On July 4, Independence Day, she wrote to Joe Biden begging him not to forget her: “I’m terrified to stay here forever.”

Evil tongues ensure that they fall into this trap. Going to Putin’s country in the context of heightened tension between Russia and the United States, what a ridiculous idea… “There are two reasons for that,” Lauren Neves, a former player turned agent, protests in the American press. “One is money. Players make money there that they can’t get in the States. The other is that the WNBA is a four-and-a-half month tournament. When basketball is your job, you don’t want to play a third of the year.”

Cheryl, his wife since 2019, launched an intense public campaign to expedite his release. US Women’s Soccer star Megan Rapinoe is part of her support committee: a photo posted to her Instagram account shows her wearing a jacket with the initials BG and an embroidered flower on her right lapel. Rappers like 50 Cent, Angie Martinez or IDK, and personalities like Justin Bieber or Mia Farrow are calling for his hand. But today, everything is played on another level. The Russians realize that they and Grenier hold the first-choice war prize. It’s time for negotiations between the great masters of treachery and lies. According to John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council: “I don’t think it would be beneficial for Britney to talk publicly about the progress of the talks.”

A year ago, on August 8, 2021, Britney Grenier allowed the United States to win their seventh consecutive Olympic title in Tokyo. It was the second for her. With 30 points, Gulliver, the finalist’s capitalist performer, looked like she’s in her prime. His life is now being negotiated against a death dealer to whom Moscow is trying to add a handful of assassins and blackmailers.

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