Steph Curry took the time to focus on imprisoned Brittney Griner during his championship ring night speech before the Golden State Warriors started their regular season with a 123-109 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
WNBA star Griner turned 32 today and she said she was thankful for all of the love and support from fans on her birthday from a Russian prison.
NBA star Curry, who picked up his fourth championship ring Tuesday night, took to the microphone ahead of Warriors’ game against the Lakers and turned the attention to Griner.
‘We use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community. Brittney Griner’s birthday is today, she’s 32 years old,’ he said on court.
‘We want to continue to let her name be known and it’s been 243 days since she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia, we hope that she comes home soon and everybody’s doing their part to get her home.’
Griner released a statement Tuesday through her attorneys who were able to visit her, according to CNN.
Steph Curry called out Brittney Griner during his championship ring night speech on Tuesday
WNBA star Griner turned 32 today and she said she was thankful for all of the love and support. She holds photographs standing inside a defendants’ cage before a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on July 27
‘Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me,’ Griner said in her message.
The statement was released through her lawyers, Maria Blagovolina and Alexander Boykov, partners with Rybalkin, Gortsunyan, Dyakin and Partners.
‘Today is of course a difficult day for Brittney,’ said Blagovolina. Not only is this her birthday in jail away from her family, teammates and friends, but she is very stressed in anticipation of the appeal hearing on October 25.’
The lawyers checked in on their client and were reportedly able to spend some time with her as she celebrated her birthday thousands of miles away from her family.
Blagovolina and Boykoc said that they relayed birthday messages from her loved ones, including wife Cherelle Griner.
Cherelle has been one of the major forces in the movement to free Brittney from the prison where ‘she is a hostage.’
‘I’m terrified I might be here forever,’ Griner wrote recently in a letter. ‘I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees’
Some reports indicate that Brittney spends up to 23 hours a day in a tiny Russian jail cell, accompanied by two cell mates
Brittney was sentenced to nine years inside The Kremlin for drug possession in August.
The WNBA player was found earlier this year with cannabis oil inside her suitcase during a trip to Russia.
At the time, Brittney said that she had packed the oil accidentally, believing it to be refills for her vape.
Cherelle recently sat down with CBS News to discuss the situation and the actions she has taken to free her wife.
‘In no world did I ever thought, you know, our president and a foreign nation president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife,’ Cherelle told CBS News.
‘It feels to me as if she’s a hostage.
‘It terrifies me because, I mean, when you watch movies, like, sometimes those situations don’t end well. Sometimes they never get the person back.’
On the basketball player’s birthday, the league said that they will continue to keep thinking and fighting for her until she is back on US soil.
‘Happy Birthday Brittney Griner, we will not forget about you and we will not stop fighting for you. The W won’t be the same until you’re home #WeAreBG,’ the WNBA posted Tuesday afternoon.
The WNBA player admitted to having the cannabis oil in her luggage but has maintained that they were packed inadvertently.
Brittney said she was rushing and that’s how the cannabis, prescribed to her for pain, ended up in her bags.
Before her August conviction, the US State Department said she was ‘wrongfully detained’ by the Russian government.
Brittney is set to appear in court on October 25 to appeal her prison sentence.