Rogan marks Griner a political prisoner — RT Sport News

Controversial podcaster and UFC analyst Joe Rogan blasted jailed basketball player Brittney Griner and called her a “political prisoner”.

Griner has been detained in Russia since February 17 after she was found with a vape cartridge in her luggage containing 0.702 grams of cannabis.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist was returning to Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season.

Pleading guilty to her charges last week, she is currently on trial and her next hearing has been postponed until July 26.

Giving his two cents on the row, however, Rogan said candidly that Griner’s fate was “horrible” and “for nothing”.

“It’s as if she were the clearest form of political prisoner”, he added on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

“I’m not a very political person, in that sense,” Rogan admitted.

“I would like to see them fix this problem. But I think it’s only part of a bigger problem.”

Rogan’s comments contrast with those of the Kremlin, which denied that Griner’s detention was politically motivated.

“The facts say that this eminent athlete was detained with illicit drugs containing narcotic substances”, explained the Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov, quoted by RIA at the beginning of July.

“Russian legislation has such (laws) that provide penalties for such crimes, but, again, this is just a statement.

“This is what she was detained with and what is in our legislation”,

Peskov then added that Griner’s arrest “can’t be politically motivated, from what I just said.”

Kremlin reiterates stance as US basketball star's drug trial begins

It has also been suggested that Russia has kept Griner in custody in order to negotiate a prisoner exchange which Russia is also not interested in as things stand and will not even consider discussing it until Griner will not have been convicted.

Furthermore, the United States has been warned that pushing to try to grant Griner’s release is “futile”.

“We urge the US authorities not to exploit this sensitive file which affects the fate of certain individuals, and we advise them to abandon vain attempts to pressure us,” he added. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Interfax this week when she answered a question about whether prisoner swap talks had already begun.

Zakharova also called on Washington to “works through established channels” and stressed that the process “simply won’t work any other way.”

Russia warns US as Griner trial resumes

“When real work is being done, it doesn’t come with this hype, it’s just a classic information campaign. We regret that the United States is going down this road, instead of a non-public professional dialogue,” he added. Zakharova continued.

Zakharova’s warning came a week after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticized the United States for creating “craze” around convicted Americans in Russia and noted that sending letters to US President Joe Biden, as Griner did on July 4, will not help.

In place, “a serious perception by the American side of the signals they received from Russia, from Moscow, through specialized channels” is needed and their use should only be considered after Griner’s case is over, Ryabkov stressed.


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