It is vitally important that the United States do everything it can to get Brittney Griner out of Russia. Why? Because she is a U.S. citizen. It’s that simple.
For the first time since her arrest in February, I’m cautiously optimistic. Her guilty plea last week was strategically wise, because it gives the Russians cover and justification for her arrest in the first place. It also could facilitate a prisoner swap, which candidly is the only way to get her home.
I’m also encouraged that former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson is going to
Russia in the next few weeks on behalf of Griner and Paul Whelan, an American who has been detained in Russia for the past three and half years. Richardson is also a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Although his trip to Russia will not represent the White House, Richardson has the standing, experience and skill set to move talks along.
Griner’s house is not clean in all of this. It is inconceivable that an experienced U.S.-Russian traveler would “accidentally” have contraband in her luggage. I also reject statements made by Griner’s attorney and agent that she “had” to go to Russia in order to make a living. False. Period. Griner chose to go to Russia, in order to enhance her already sizable income. That’s fine. That’s her choice. That’s America. That’s free enterprise. But it was also a poor decision in light of current Russian-American relations. That’s on her.
Still, we have to get her home. Why? Because she’s an American citizen.
And continuing the theme of “people are responsible for their actions,” I have no sympathy for former PGA Tour golfers Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell, who recently jumped over to the Murderous Saudi Blood Money Sportswashing Tour. The pair just lost their longstanding endorsement contracts with Mastercard. Priceless.
I like Damian Lillard, who recently signed a two-year extension with the Blazers, despite seemingly everyone telling him he needs to leave Portland if he ever wants to win an NBA title. The 31-year-old Lillard says he badly wants to win a championship. But he wants to do it in Portland, with the Blazers, the only NBA team he’s ever played for. Heck, yes, I like and respect that.
It’s been a rough several years for NBA demi-star John Wall. He’s endured significant injuries and the deaths of both his mother and grandmother. Wall sat out all of last season with the Houston Rockets. Now he has signed on with the Clippers, where he will join Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Looks great on paper, doesn’t it? But it will prove to be mache. They’ll flame.
How have the Astros managed to drop two straight to the lowly A’s? For the season, Oakland is hitting .209 as a team. That presents historic opportunity for the A’s. The 1910 White Sox, in the “dead ball era,” finished the year at .211 to hold the MLB record for lowest team BA.
Congrats to Keith Hernandez, who just became only the third New York Met player to have his jersey number (17) retired. How’s this for shameless manipulation and cross-promotion? Did I ever tell you about the time Hernandez and I almost got into a no-kidding fight? No?
Then simply scroll down on this website under the “Our News” tab until you reach a feature section titled, “It Was My Pleasure—Paul’s Memorable Encounters.” The Hernandez saga is right at the top of the queue, followed by some other pretty cool stories about the likes of Joe Namath, Deacon Jones, Jesse Owens, Howie Long, Walter Payton, et al.