Brittney Griner’s Russian Mugging - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Brittney Griner’s Russian Mugging
Brittney Griner at the M&T Bank Women’s Empowerment Luncheon, April 13, 2023 (lev radin/Shutterstock)

“In New York we have a saying,” famously quipped the late Mayor Ed Koch, “a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged.”

Brittany Griner will now stand for the National Anthem.

No one would count WNBA star Brittney Griner as a conservative, but you can count her as a liberal mugged by reality — courtesy of the Russkies.

Readers here know the story of Ms. Griner, which your faithful correspondent has dutifully documented at The American Spectator over the last year or so.

In February 2022, the then-31-year-old Griner illegally brought dope and accessories into Russia — specifically, cannabis oil and vape cartridges. She was looking forward to smoking up in Yekaterinburg. But alas, as known by most people not high on drugs, this was not a wise thing to do. Warning to foreigners: If you’re planning a trip to Putin’s Russia, leave the hashish behind. 

The Russians played hardball with the WNBA star, tossing her immediately into the hoosegow — described by her and her lawyers as a “cage.” The Russians love this kind of thing. They no doubt chortled at the image of a jailed lesbian black woman held behind bars while her American “wife” begged for her freedom. As for old Mad Dog Putin, he licked his chops at a chance for a prisoner swap with a sucker of a counterpart like Joe Biden, an easily duped Democrat eager to please his most beloved constituency: the “LGBTQIA+” community. (RELATED: Mad Dog Putin)

Biden was primed to play the role of Putin’s patsy.

The Russians laughed even louder when old lunch-bucket Joe from Scranton and his State Department embarrassingly handed over the Russian “Merchant of Death,” Viktor Bout, for Brittany last December. Bout was serving a 25-year sentence in the United States for conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens and aiding terrorists. But for President Joe and Vice President Kamala, that paled in comparison. They would happily free the Merchant of Death for a poster girl for Gay Pride. It was a no-brainer. (READ MORE: The Russians Are Laughing At Us)

And so, Brittney headed home, eager to get back to shooting three-pointers and smoking weed. As for Viktor, he quickly went back to work, too, moving weapons into the Ukraine to help Putin slaughter innocent civilians — those Ukrainians for whom American liberals fly Ukraine flags aside their rainbow flags. 

What a deal, comrade!

On the plus side, in my reportage on this infamous swap back in December, I did conclude by noting that perhaps this whole debacle might have improved Brittney Griner’s image of America, the country that did reverse slam dunks to pull her posterior out of nine-year-sentence at a Russian penal colony. If I may humbly quote myself: “She ought to feel a little differently about America now, eh? One would hope that her image of America now stands a little improved.” (READ MORE: Putin’s Patsy: Biden Plays Sucker to the Russkies)

Well, dear readers, I am happy to report — and to the credit of America’s best-known vaper-doper female hoops star — that Brittney Griner indeed has suddenly gained an appreciation of America. Yes, Brittney now says that she will stand for the National Anthem. In fact, she is emphatic about it, insisting, “I definitely want to stand.” She even now calls America a “great country”! Behold the words of this woman who has gotten religion:

You have the right to protest [in America], the right to able to speak out, question, challenge and do all these things. What I went through and everything, it just means a little bit more to me now. So I want to be able to stand. I was literally in a cage [in Russia] and could not stand the way I wanted to.

Just being able to hear my national anthem, see my flag, I definitely want to stand. Now everybody that will not stand or not come out, I totally support them 100 percent. That’s our right, as an American in this great country.

I appreciate everything a little bit more, all of the small moments…. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, you don’t know what it’s going to look like. I feel a lot older somehow, too.

I bet she feels older. So did dissidents like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who aged terribly after years in the Gulag Archipelago. I’m sure our 80-year-old cultural-revolutionary president sees Griner as a moral equivalent to Solzhenitsyn. After all, she supports transgenderism.

But that said, I am pleased to hear this from Ms. Griner — just as I sincerely congratulated her for being freed last December. Kudos to this liberal mugged by reality. It goes to show that there really is no substitute for experience. Prior to getting tossed into a Russian slammer and freed only through extraordinary intervention by Uncle Sam, Griner’s view of America was not that of an extraordinary nation. In our awful schools, she would have learned that American exceptionalism is a joke. She would have been told that this is a nation of imperialists, colonialists, white nationalists. Her view would have been the America not of the glorious 1776, but of 1619 and the New York Times’ and Nikole Hannah-Jones’ idiotic project. 

In other words, Brittney had been indoctrinated. No wonder she took a knee for the “Star-Spangled Banner.” She was brainwashed by our schools, our culture, and CRT crackpots who judge this country a Star-Spangled Nightmare — the nation of slavery and white supremacy.

But again, what a difference real-world experiences make. Brittany Griner will now stand for the National Anthem. She is a liberal who was mugged by the Russians — mugged by reality.

It has been said that if you’re not a liberal by the age of 20, you have no heart, but if you’re not a conservative by the age of 40, you have no brain. I can’t say that 32-year-old Brittney is on her way to conservatism (has she noticed the taxes taken out of her paychecks?), but at least she has a better understanding of the freedoms and greatness of her country.

Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is Editor of The American Spectator. Dr. Kengor is also a professor of political science at Grove City College, a senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values, and the author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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