Shane Dunaway: We need another “Free Brittney” movement

Published 9:00 am Saturday, May 7, 2022

Throughout 2020 and 2021, social media and the general public clamored for Britney Spears to be freed from a conservatorship she had been placed under that her father was effectively exploiting for his own gain.

Spears was freed from that legal arrangement in November 2021, showing the world that when enough voices unite for a common cause, it can garner enough attention to where effective action can be taken to right an inherently-wrong situation.

If only we could get that sort of support going for another Brittney – WNBA star Brittney Griner.

Griner was detained in Russia by the country’s Federal Customs Service for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing hash oil — a substance that is illegal in the country.

It figures Russia would be behind the times when it comes to products derived from marijuana, a plant considered medicine in 74% of the states in the U.S. and a felony in the remainder, though some municipalities have decriminalized the “drug.”

Griner’s offense, at-worst a victimless crime, doesn’t necessitate the need for detainment by an oppressive country led by a megalomaniac named Vladimir Putin. Yet, she remains, for what is now Day 79 of a detainment the U.S. government officially classified as wrongful just a few days ago.

The fact she has not been released strikes me as ridiculous given the only reason she was even in the country was to compete in the Russian Premier League, an action that one would presume would benefit Russia in some capacity. The country went from using her name and star power on the court to garner support for their sports league to holding her hostage.

What is even more ridiculous is there is not enough support for Griner out there. Sure, some athletes, celebrities and political officials have spoken out about Griner’s predicament, but public support has not quite reached the #FreeBritney fever pitch.

All the social justice warriors out there who wanted Spears to be freed from her overbearing father need to dust off that damn hashtag, add another “T” to the name, and get to work raising more awareness so maybe, just maybe, some action will be taken and Griner finally will be brought home.

Bring Brittney back.