Brittney Griner details her horrific experience as she claims that Russian guards threatened her to stay in a men’s cell ahead of Coming Home’s release. DEETS inside.

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Brittney Griner opens up about the trauma of Russian guards wanting to send her to a men’s cell.


After 2+ years of Brittney Griner’s arrest in Russia, the WNBA star is launching her new book, titled Coming Home. In the book, Brittney narrates her harrowing experience of being detained in Russia, the conditions of her detainment, and the anxiety of being placed in the men’s cell.

In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Griner narrates that when the talks of placing Brittney Griner in the men’s cell arose, she refused. Then, the guards spoke amongst themselves and eventually took her to the women’s side.

Being a Black woman in a country with a history of LGBTQ+ discrimination likely led to such a scenario. Well, Russia has a long history of separating prisoners by gender. Placing Griner in a men’s cell could violate their prison regulations.

Let’s revisit what happened to Brittney Griner. In February 2022, Griner was detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow. Russian customs officials allegedly found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. Cannabis oil is illegal in Russia. Griner was arrested on charges of large-scale transportation of illegal narcotics, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

Brittney Griner’s detainment coincided with the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The timing of her conviction led many to believe that Brittney was being used as a political pawn. Griner’s lawyers argued she had a medical prescription for the cannabis oil in her home state (where medical marijuana is legal) and accidentally packed the cartridges.

She also claimed she was pressured into signing documents in Russian that she didn’t understand. Next, Griner was found guilty in August 2022 and sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. In October 2022, her appeal was rejected by a Russian court. Finally, in December 2022, a prisoner swap was arranged. The US released Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer, in exchange for Griner’s freedom.

What is Brittney Griner’s ‘Coming Home’ book all about?

Coming Home is a memoir by WNBA star Brittney Griner, co-written with Michelle Burford. Coming Home will be released on May 7. It is being published by Penguin Random House.

Brittney Griner’s book will detail the harsh realities of everyday life in a Russian prison camp. Expect descriptions of the facilities, routines, food, and interactions with guards and fellow inmates.

On a positive note, the Coming Home book explores how Griner found strength in her love for her wife, Cherelle. Clearly, Coming Home is more than just a prison memoir.

Is Britney Griner back playing in the WNBA?

Yes, Brittney Griner is playing in the WNBA. Griner was detained in Russia in February 2022 and wasn’t released until December of that year. She missed the entire 2022 WNBA season. However, Griner did return to the court in May of 2023 for the Phoenix Mercury. She even played well enough to be named a starter in the 2023 WNBA All-Star Game.