Calls intensify for basketball star's release from Russian prison

Brittney Griner has been detained for more than 100 days
Calls intensify for basketball star's release from Russian prison

NBA superstar Kyrie Irving is among several basketball players to have called for the release of Brittney Griner from a Russian prison on her 100th day of detention after she was arrested for possession of drugs at an airport close to Moscow.

Griner had arrived in Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg, whom she have represented during the WNBA offseason since 2014, and it was alleged upon her entry to the country on February 17 that she was carrying vape cartridges which contained cannabis oil.

Griner, 31, could face a sentence of 10 years in prison if she is convicted.

However, figures within both the NBA and WNBA are stating that Griner has been wrongfully detained and are petitioned US President Joe Biden to secure her release and return to her home country.

“Brittney Griner has been illegally detained in Russia since February 17th, 2022,” wrote Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving online, along with posting a link to a petition aimed at securing her release.

“I’m urging the White House to prioritize Brittney’s safe return home immediately!”

Marking her 100th day of detention, the WNBA players' association issued a statement in which they also demanded that Griner, arguably the most famous name in women's basketball, be returned to the United States.

“We are calling on everyone to use their platforms, no matter the size, to bring attention to her wrongful detainment to get [Griner's wife] Cherelle that meeting with President Biden and to get our sister home,” they said in a statement.

The US State Department said earlier this month that it was their belief that Griner had been wrongfully detained” by Russian authorities.

Griner is expected to remain in prison until a pre-trial hearing which is scheduled to take place on June 18.

“100 days wrongfully detained in Russia. 100 days too long. With urgency, bring BG home,” wrote WNBA player Reshanda Gray online, while Breanna Stewart added: It has been 100 days since our friend, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia. It is time for her to come home. White House, we are paying attention and we are counting on you.”

The official Twitter account of USA Basketball added simply: 100 days. Bring BG home.”

Original Article