During the WNBA All-Star game on Sunday, the players stood in solidarity with Brittney Griner—a seven-time All-Star who won a championship with the Mercury in 2014 and has two Olympic gold medals—by putting the national spotlight on her arduous situation. She was named an honorary member of the all-star team and after halftime, every player wore a jersey with Griner's name and her number, no. 42, on the back, reports CBS Sports.
Seated at courtside, Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, was embraced by the players and she expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support from the players, fans and the entire WNBA.
Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky spoke about the importance of calling attention to Griner’s detainment.
"I think the WNBA has always done a great job of keeping what's important, important," Parker said. "I think, you know, obviously wearing the jersey is a small part I think in what we are all doing, in what we are trying to do, which is bring her home."
"Her wife is sitting courtside and I can't even imagine, you know, what her family and what she's going through. So, I think the entire weekend has been centered around how can we amplify our voices and get her back as soon as possible,” continued Parker.
"Like we say, we are the most unified league in the world, honestly, and wearing the jerseys was a statement to show that we are BG," added Las Vegas Aces star A'ja Wilson. "Yes, we have the shirts and the pins but BG is one of us. She's our sister and at the end of the day we are going to do whatever we can to amplify the platform that we have to make sure that everyone is doing what they need to do to make sure that she gets home safely."
After being detained in Russian custody since February 17, Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges after the Russian Federal Customs Service claimed to have found vape cartridges containing the marijuana concentrate hashish oil in Griner's luggage.
Recently, Griner penned a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to intervene on her behalf and other Americans who are detained in Russia.
“I realize you are dealing with so much,” she wrote, “But please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home.”
In the letter, Griner noted that she voted for Biden in 2020, which was the first time she ever voted.
“I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” she added.