Brittney Griner back in U.S.

Triton reacts to WNBA star being brought back to home country in controversial trade-off


Cam Neary / Lorie Shaull

Andrew Faloon (left) and Cole Piaseczynski (right) are interviewed by Aiden Szymanski about Brittney Griner’s return to U.S. soil (Cam Neary photo/Lorie Shaull photo)

By Aiden Szymanski

Staff Writer


Some students at Triton feel as though December 9th’s prisoner trade involving WNBA star Brittney Griner was lopsided against the U.S. 


On Friday December 9th, Griner returned home to the United States after being imprisoned in Russia for several months on marijuana charges.


In exchange, Joe Biden and the U.S. government sent Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout back to his home country, cutting short a 25-year prison sentence.


“…Trading somebody who knew what they were getting themselves into when going to Russia, for the merchant of death is probably not a fair trade off…” said junior Cole Piaseczynski, who acknowledged the fact that the U.S. is known to be protective of its people but questions whether or not we gave too much in return.

“In this case, it’s a no bueno. You can only lose in this case,” said junior Andrew Faloon. “[The U.S.] freed an arms dealer that kills a lot of people for somebody that can’t even make a three pointer…”


Additionally, many question the reason as to why Griner was freed in the trade, while U.S. marine Paul Whelan was not; Whelan, convicted on espionage charges which the U.S. claims are false, has served four years in a 16-year sentence. More specifically, Whelan was accused of being an American spy after having supposedly received a classified USB drive. Despite many people growing outraged by the fact that Whalen remains in Russian imprisonment, CBS News claims one U.S. official chalked it up to being “a choice between bringing home one particular American – Brittney Griner – or bringing home none at all.”

“We should have freed the troops that are stuck in the Russian prison getting tortured every day,” said Faloon.


While the U.S. proved to its people its willingness to protect its citizens by freeing Brittney Griner, it  still has a lot more work to do to truly win over students at Triton and people around the world by refraining from freeing dangerous people back into society to fulfill demands, and by working to liberate its imprisoned military personnel.