Brittney Griner’s heartbreak and strength are captured in this photograph.

The basketball sensation is being held in Russia, apart from her teammates and family. However, there are indications that she has maintained her battling spirit.

Brittney Griner has been almost silenced for the past five months.

Before being detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 for allegedly carrying cannabis oil into Russia, the WNBA star’s influence extended beyond high-scoring games, Olympic gold medals, and fast-break dunks.

Outside of sports, Griner has frequently used her voice to rally and assist the masses.

Griner used her fame to help call attention to systemic concerns that often plague underprivileged populations when American cities were filled with protests in 2020 following the police violence of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

She used her platform to raise tens of thousands of dollars for Hurricane Harvey victims in her hometown of Houston, Texas, in 2019.

She would also frequently collaborate with the Phoenix Rescue Mission to supply shoes for the destitute in Arizona’s capital, where she is an eight-time WNBA All-Star for the Mercury.

But, other from a few words during her trial, we haven’t heard her voice since she was arrested less than a week before Russian forces invaded Ukraine (Griner says she did not intend to bring drugs into Russia and that her rights were not fully explained to her).

Instead, photographs have taken the place of words as Griner’s principal mode of communication, even as news of a possible prisoner swap between the US and Russian governments offered a rare ray of hope amid her months-long detention.

This week, the most remarkable shot arrived, capturing both her spirit and the pain of her separation from her loved ones.

Griner, who was imprisoned in Russia, smiled subtly while holding images of her wife, Cherrelle, best friends, and teammates.

She was spotted clutching another image of WNBA players wearing her No. 42 jersey at this year’s WNBA All-Star game a few weeks prior.

“We are the most unified league in the world, honestly,” A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces stated in response to the league’s decision to commemorate Griner.

During court hearings in Russia, Brittney Griner has held images of those important to her.

Griner’s decision to express herself through photographs offers a deeper message about the uncertainties of her future.

With her long-term freedom on the line, each photo she carries is a lifeline. Even if she is incarcerated and confined in a foreign jail, she is not going through this alone.

There are loved ones, teammates, and fans hoping for the best as she faces up to ten years in a Russian prison.

Griner spoke briefly with an ABC News reporter minutes before being photographed with a picture of her wife and best friends. She wished her wife luck on her upcoming bar examination. Griner said, “no complaints,” when asked whether she had any.

Griner elaborated on her defense attorney’s argument that the cannabis oil was utilized for therapeutic purposes throughout her testimony in court.

It’s unclear whether the court can be influenced or whether fairness was ever an option, considering that most US analysts see her detention as a political tactic by the Russian government amid a period of heightened animosity between Washington and Moscow.

Griner, on the other hand, is a fighter who has always used her skills to outmatch opponents on the court while utilizing her voice to fight for justice and help those in need off the court.

Griner is still fighting, she’s still connecting with the people and those she loves, and she’s using her voice even though she can’t speak out loud.

At this point, when her circumstances make it difficult for her to speak directly to the public, a photograph is worth more than words.