Friday, August 5, 2022

Warriors’ Steph Curry opens up about Brittney Griner’s situation

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Brittney Griner has been held in Russia since February 2022 and is in prison with little to no contact with the outside world. The United States has said she was wrongly detained, but Russia has not responded, adamantly 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 keep supporting them.

“Many people are working hard right now to secure Brittney’s release, but while we hope for the best, we urge the entire global sports community to continue to stay active for her.”

WNBA star Brittney Griner’s verdict finally came on Aug. 4 and she was sentenced to nine years in prison, a sentence that was expected but sparked frustration among many Americans. The ruling sent shockwaves through the basketball world, according to the hashtag #FreeBG quickly became known. Many stars from different sports expressed their support and publicly denounced the Russian government for such a harsh sentence.

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

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

“It’s beyond the sports world at this point, but me and everyone [Griner’s] Colleagues have said very loudly that we need to keep her name in the media and make sure she feels loved and supported,” Curry said.

Curry reiterated what he said at the ESPYs to keep everyone talking about the unfortunate situation so both parties can put pressure on them to work towards a resolution as soon as possible.

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

Griner was originally in Russia to play pro basketball for UMMC Ekaterinburg. After passing through customs at Sheremetyevo Airport, 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 incarcerated for drug-related crimes in all of Europe.

Since then she has been in prison and cannot travel back to the United States. Her only contact was her attorney, who forwarded the communications to her family and friends. Even Griner’s consular access was denied in Russia.

The United States attempted to negotiate a prisoner swap by offering Viktor Bout, a well-known Russian arms dealer, 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 home safely.

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