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Sports World Reacts To Brittney Griner Warning News

Brittney Griner walks into court out of prison in Russia.

US Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, leaves the courtroom after the court's verdict in Khimki outside Moscow, on August 4, 2022. - A Russian court found Griner guilty of smuggling and storing narcotics after prosecutors requested a sentence of nine and a half years in jail for the athlete. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, the Kremlin kept the door open for a possible prisoner swap involving U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner. That being said, the Russian government reiterated that any and all negotiations must remain confidential.

“We always say that any contacts about possible exchanges can only be conducted in silence under a tight lid on any information,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a conference call with reporters, per AP News.

Yesterday, a Russian court rejected Griner's appeal against her nine-year prison sentence. The WNBA superstar has been detained on drug smuggling charges since she was stopped at a Moscow airport in February.

The sports world took to Twitter to react to this news.

"This was their plan from the beginning," one wrote.

"Again one of the many reasons why they are taking advantage of the situation and giving her as much prison time as possible. They’re using it as leverage against us just like a terrorist organization would!" another said.

"This doesn’t seem very confidential," another added.

Earlier this year, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. government made a “substantial proposal” to bring home Griner and fellow American prisoner Paul Whelan. Multiple reports indicated that the swap would be for convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Given this recent warning from the Kremlin, it's likely we won't hear many more details regarding any potential prisoner swap.