Amid the hostility over the war in Ukraine, a court imposed nearly the maximum possible sentence on the American basketball star Brittney Griner, intensifying calls to win her release.
Griner, the W.N.B.A. star detained in Russia on drug charges, is one of many athletes who have said cannabis helps with sports injuries. But it is banned by sports leagues and illegal in many places.
The W.N.B.A. star’s legal team has argued that have argued that the American basketball star did not intend to smuggle drugs into Russia.
Griner, the W.N.B.A. star, has been detained in Russia since February. The N.B.A., which founded the women’s league in 1996, has said it is working behind the scenes to help Griner.
As the W.N.B.A. star’s drugs trial resumed, her defense team contended that she had packed a banned narcotic in her luggage because of “an oversight.”
Where is the groundswell of support, demanding that Brittney Griner be brought home now?
The case of an American sports star at the mercy of Russian justice has rippled across the world amid criticism from Washington that she has been wrongfully detained.
The league made Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February, an honorary starter for the game.
“There was no intent,” the American basketball star told a Russian judge, as any resolution of the highly politicized case appeared to shift toward the diplomatic arena.
Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, said that publicity around the basketball player’s case was not helping her interests. U.S. officials said she was essentially a hostage.
Growing public pressure to free the W.N.B.A. star, who has been detained in Russia for months, comes with risks.
Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, is serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.
Ms. Griner, a seven-time W.N.B.A. all-star, has been in custody since February.
Celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX was dampened as female athletes were saddened — and angered — by the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
The campaign by dozens of organizations representing people of color, women and L.G.B.T.Q. voters comes amid growing frustrations over the pace of the U.S. effort to bring her home.
The American basketball star was arrested in February in a Russian airport amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and attempts to win her release have repeatedly failed.
The Phoenix Mercury were encouraged to continue their public campaign for the W.N.B.A. star’s release from Russia, where the U.S. government has said she has been “wrongfully detained.”
Those close to Griner pursued a strategy of silence after her detention in Russia in February, hoping to avoid politicizing her case. Now they are amping up public pressure, with some of it aimed at President Biden.
Ms. Griner, one of the most decorated athletes in women’s basketball, has been held in custody in Russia since mid-February.
The atrocities of the war in Ukraine and Griner’s detention in Russia on drug charges could cut off a lucrative pipeline for women’s basketball players.
The State Department went public with its push to negotiate Griner’s release from custody in Russia, where she has been held on drug charges since February.
Howard, a senior guard, was the top pick after Atlanta made a deal with the Washington Mystics to move up in the draft.
Some former hostages question whether the family should remain silent, saying pressure campaigns can work.
Griner, one of the world’s best basketball players, was detained on accusations that she had hashish oil in her luggage at an airport outside of Moscow a week before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Griner, one of the world’s best basketball players, was believed to have been detained in Russia on what customs officials described as drug charges. Fans are worried.
Competing for international teams during the W.N.B.A.’s off-season is common for players. The chance to earn extra money is just one of the draws.
The player was said to have had drug paraphernalia in her luggage at an airport that serves Moscow. A Russian news agency identified the player as W.N.B.A. center Brittney Griner.
Secret charter flights cost the Liberty a big fine, but players say they deserve them — and need them to be healthy. The league says they’re too expensive for now.
Clark, a sophomore at Iowa, says the game slows down for her, and it shows: She leads Division I women’s basketball in points and assists.
The five-week Athletes Unlimited season has given some players an alternative to playing overseas during the W.N.B.A. off-season and a way to earn extra money.
Many players and fans want bigger rosters and more teams, but the W.N.B.A. said it can’t “expand for expansion’s sake” without the money to support it.
Sarver, who owns the N.B.A.’s Phoenix Suns and the W.N.B.A.’s Phoenix Mercury, has been accused of using racial slurs and making sexual and other inappropriate comments.
Augustus, laden with championship rings and now an assistant with the Los Angeles Sparks, first realized her true strength fighting for L.G.B.T.Q. rights.
Inside the arena, Seattle Storm fans bring the passion. Outside, the city has yet to fully embrace a team that has won four W.N.B.A. championships.
The jingoism at sporting events that temporarily surged during the Gulf War and roared back after Sept. 11 now often drives wedges, but sports leagues want it to stay.
Early Liberty teams regularly contended for the W.N.B.A. championship and built an enduring connection with fans.
Lusia Harris led her team to three national championships, scored the first basket in women’s Olympic history and was an official draft pick in 1977.
The number of publicly out L.G.B.T.Q. athletes in men’s biggest pro leagues lags far behind that in women’s sports. Will Carl Nassib’s announcement change that?
Hamane Niang, the leader of basketball’s global governing body known as FIBA, led Mali’s federation at a time of systemic exploitation of female players, activists say. FIBA announced an investigation.
W.N.B.A. commissioner Cathy Engelbert on closing the gender gap in sports.
Liz Cambage, the Las Vegas Aces center, said Connecticut Sun Coach Curt Miller had made disrespectful comments about her weight during a game on Sunday.
Moore, the 2014 W.N.B.A. M.V.P., is reveling in married life and continuing a fight for criminal justice reform alongside Jonathan Irons, whom she married after helping him win his release from prison after 23 years.
A wave of talented rookies could make for tense battles as new faces like Aari McDonald and Charli Collier take on perennial all-stars like Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker.
There’s confidence, and then there’s thinking you can beat one of the 500 (N.B.A.) or 150 (W.N.B.A.) best basketball players in the world.
Collier, a 6-foot-5 center from the University of Texas, was selected by the Dallas Wings.
A deep run in the N.C.A.A. tournament isn’t required for a basketball player to become a star or make it to the pros. These five women aim to prove it.
Rodriguez and Marc Lore, an e-commerce billionaire, intend to keep the team in Minnesota, the current owner said.
James is now an owner of the Boston Red Sox and recently helped a W.N.B.A. player, Renee Montgomery, with her group’s bid to purchase the Atlanta Dream.
A trying year, on and off the court, helped Loyd finally embrace herself as an elite Black female athlete.
Renee Montgomery, a former Dream guard, is part of a group buying the team from Kelly Loeffler, the former Georgia senator, who upset players by attacking the Black Lives Matter movement.