Roy Jones Jr. Offers to Help Free Brittney GrinerWNBA player, Brittney Griner has been, some say, unfairly imprisoned in Russia for the past four months. Griner has been in the country since February 17 after Russian authorities stated that a search of her luggage at the airport revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. There are many people, politicians, athletes and government agencies joining the fight to free her. Now, dual United States/Russian citizen, Roy Jones Jr., has offered to help gain her freedom so she can return to the United States.
According to TMZ, the former boxing champion has said that he’s working behind the scenes to get the WNBA player home. Jones even stated that he is willing to travel to Moscow to escort the WNBA star back to the states.
“Would I put my life on the line, take a chance to go to Russia to exchange prisoners? Yes, I would,” Jones says as he explains his reasoning. “Because if [Brittney] was my daughter, I would want somebody to do the same thing for me.”It was reported earlier this week that her detention in Russia has been extended again since being imprisoned. This time, her extension is until July 2 according to the Russian state news agency TASS. This is the third extension of Griner’s imprisonment. The first extension took place in March when they extended her stay to May 19. Six days before that extension was expected to be lifted, it was extended until June 18. Once again, they extended it to the beginning of next month.
Last month, the State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained and thereby transferred oversight of her case to the State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).
Jones, with the help of President Vladimir Putin, became a citizen in 2015. The retired athlete says he reached out to several of his Russian friends.
“I had a friend, a couple of my friends that I knew, I called and I asked him ‘Is there any way we can try to facilitate?’ because I don’t do politics. I’m a sports figure and they love me as a sports figure. ‘Is there any way we can use my sports influence to possibly can get anything arranged to help get Brittney home?'”He stated that there could be the possibility of a prisoner exchange.“My friend called and he called me back and he said, ‘yes, they said they’d be willing to do a prisoner exchange.’ I said, ‘Well it’s probably rough because the prisoner exchange is probably a real prisoner.’ She’s not necessarily a person that’s a real prisoner but I’m sure that maybe the U.S. will be understanding of this and get her back home because I’d be terrified if my kid was stuck in a foreign country in jail, you know?”Jones claims that one of his friends has a direct connection to the Russian president.