Warriors’ Steph Curry Sounds Off on Brittney Griner Situation

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Getty Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

Held in Russia since February 2022, Brittney Griner has been in prison with little to no contact with the outside world. The United States has said she has been wrongfully detained, yet Russia has not answered that and held firm that she broke the law.

When Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry hosted the ESPYs in June, he wore a Griner jersey and called on the community to be strong and continue to support her.

“There are a lot of people working hard right now to secure Brittney’s release, but as we hope for the best, we urge the entire global sports community to continue to stay energized on her behalf.”

WNBA star Brittney Griner’s verdict finally came down on August 4, and she was sentenced to nine years in prison, a sentence that was expected but caused frustration amongst many Americans. The verdict sent shockwaves across the basketball world, as the hashtag #FreeBG went viral. Many stars across different sports expressed support and publicly denounced the Russian government for such harsh sentencing.

The White House came out immediately and issued a statement that blasted Russia and asked them to release an innocent American citizen.

“Today, American citizen Brittney Griner received a prison sentence that is one more reminder of what the world already knew: Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney,” President Biden said in a statement. “It’s unacceptable, and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.”

Stephen Curry’s Comments After the Sentencing

During Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s annual Curry Camp in the Bay Area, he talked about the Griner situation with Blavity.

“It’s beyond the sports world at this point, but myself and all of [Griner’s] colleagues have spoken very loudly that we need to continue to keep her name in the media and make sure that she feels loved and supported,” Curry says.

Curry reiterated what he said at the ESPYs, for everyone to continue to talk about the unfortunate situation so that it can put pressure on both parties to work towards a resolution as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, it’s such a helpless situation when you think about all the details of what’s happened. Today is not a great day, obviously, but I think that there are other conversations that are going on and hopefully we will still have a safe and speedy return for her. The right people are feeling the pressure and I’m hoping that it works out right for BG,” he continued.

How Griner Got Arrested

Griner was originally in Russia to play professional basketball for UMMC Ekaterinburg. After going through customs at the Sheremetyevo Airport, the Russian Federal Customs allegedly found hash oil in her belongings.

In 2019, the Moscow Times reported that Russia has the highest per capita number of people in jail for drug crimes in all of Europe.

Since then, she has been detained in prison and has not been able to travel back to the United States. Her only contact has been with her lawyer, who has been relaying communication back to her family and friends. Even Griner’s consular access has been denied in Russia.

The United States has been trying to negotiate a prisoner swap, offering Viktor Bout, a known Russian arms trafficker in exchange for Griner and Paul Whelan. The Russians sent a counter-proposal, so hopefully, both sides can reach an agreement that can bring Griner safely home.

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