Why The U.S. Got Brittney Griner Freed Instead Of A U.S. Marine

Portfolio Armor's Photo
by Portfolio Armor
Friday, Dec 09, 2022 - 0:07

Left: Paul Whelan (U.S. Marines). Right: Brittney Griner (Lorie Shaull).

Submitted by Portfolio Armor

Why Brittney Griner Got Out Of Jail

When White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, herself a lesbian, was asked why the Biden Administration prioritized freeing Brittney Griner, the lesbian basketball player convicted of smuggling drugs into Russia, she responded that Griner inspired millions. As one of my correspondents on Twitter quipped, alluding to the WNBA's paltry ratings, "inspiring dozens" doesn't have quite the same ring. 

Journalist Pedro Gonzalez offers a sadly more likely explanation though: 

As Gonzalez elaborates on his Substack

Whelan served in the Marines and worked as a police officer in Michigan. There is something to that. On the other hand, Griner has spent her life playing an utterly irrelevant sport. She has been “prescribed medicinal cannabis,” which is what we say today about people who are addicted to the most pathetic kind of drug. It’s not even a “cool” drug, like cocaine. She was arrested with a vape containing hash oil. The Russians basically did Americans a favor.

But here is the fundamental difference—the reason Griner was prioritized over Whelan: she is a black lesbian who resents America, making her the ideal citizen in the current U.S.

In 2020, she told The Arizona Republic, “I honestly feel we should not play the National Anthem during our season.” Griner, of course, is a supporter of Black Lives Matter. She added, “I think we should take that much of a stand,” and noted she would walk off the court during the anthem if necessary. Griner also criticized the “anti-gay” policies of her alma mater, Baylor, in her memoir. 

What active persecution at Baylor embittered her so? Nothing, according to the author herself. The Christian university simply asks that “gay athletes don’t talk about being gay,” she wrote, which wounded Griner, who apparently feels the need to shout it from the mountaintops.

On the other hand, poor Whelan is merely a white man who served his country and was, as white people increasingly are these days, down on his luck from time to time. Worse, and perhaps unforgivably, he expressed support for Donald Trump before and after Trump was elected president.

Other Takes

James Kirkpatrick offers another take on the exchange: 

And Second City Bureaucrat questions the intersectional hierarchy suggested by Griner's release. 

Update: The Russian Response


If You Want To Stay In Touch

You can follow Pedro Gonzalez on Twitter here, and visit his Substack here

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