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Sports World Reacts To The Brittney Griner Trial News

USA basketball star Brittney Griner

SAITAMA, JAPAN - AUGUST 06: Brittney Griner #15 of Team United States looks on against Serbia during the second half of a Women's Basketball Semifinals game on day fourteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Saitama Super Arena on August 06, 2021 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It's been several months since WNBA superstar Brittney Griner was detained and arrested in Russia on drug charges. But after a lot of silence from the country on the matter, a trial date is now set.

According to the Associated Press, Griner's criminal trial is set to begin this Friday. She is being charged with large-scale transportation of drugs and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. 

Worse still, Griner faces near impossible odds of avoiding a conviction. The AP reported that less than one-percent of defendants in Russian criminal cases are acquitted. And even if she is acquitted, her acquittal can be overturned under Russian law.

American sports fans can hardly believe that this is all unfolding so quickly. Fans are calling for her to be freed, with some investigative reporters are pointing out that only diplomacy can really help her now:

In years past it might have been easier for the United States and Russia to work out her diplomatic release back to U.S. custody. 

But amid massive sanctions against Russia for their invasion of Ukraine, relations are the worst they've been since the Cold War.

It could take months or even years for the U.S. and Russia to be on good enough terms to earnestly discuss ways to get Griner home.

The best we can do right now is hope that the State Department can work quickly.