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Squires: After 10 months in Russian jail, Brittney Griner should be singing the national anthem, not protesting it

Op-ed
Mike Mattina / Stringer | Getty Images

Like many Americans, I am happy that Brittney Griner was released from Russian detention and her sentence of nine years in prison after authorities found cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport. I understand that ignorance is no excuse for breaking the law, but her punishment always seemed far out of proportion to her crime. The fact that Griner previously stated the national anthem should not be played at WNBA games – or that the U.S. had to trade a Russian arms dealer for her release – doesn’t change that reality.

Griner’s peers in the WNBA have been some of her most vocal supporters. The league has also been at the forefront of the fusion of sports and political activism. The movement that was thrust into the national spotlight by Colin Kaepernick should have a new leader in Griner.

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