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WNBPA Shares Statement on Brittney Griner, Backs ‘We Are BG’ Petition

The Women’s National Basketball Players Association issued a petition urging people to sign it to help bring Brittany Griner home.

Saturday marks 100 days since the Mercury star has been “wrongfully detained” after Russian Federal Customs Service said they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow.

Several WNBA players tweeted the petition that states Griner is a “teammate”, “friend” and “sister.” The 144 players that make up the players association say that by working together, they can make a “world-changing moment” in getting Griner home.

The petition also calls for athletes in professional sports to hold their own media blackouts to bring attention to Griner’s case, calling for athletes from other sports and teams as well as the media to “use their platforms to write BG’s story.”

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The seven-time All-Star has continued to receive an outpouring of support from her teammates, the WNBA community, professional teams and athletes and people all around the world. 

Lynx forward Natalie Achonwa tweeted a picture on Saturday wearing a T-shirt with Griner’s face on it, urging people to share awareness about Griner’s detainment. WNBPA president and Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike shared tips on advocating for Griner’s release.

Storm and Liberty players wore Griner shirts and hoodies ahead of their game on Friday. In addition to athletes advocating for Griner, South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley, who coached Griner on Team USA during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, has consistently tweeted about the All-Star since her detainment.

More than two weeks ago, Griner’s pretrial detention was extended by 30 days, keeping her in Russia. Authorities denied consular access to Griner from U.S. Embassy officials three times this month, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

But, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said Friday that a U.S. consular officer was able to meet with Griner on Thursday, May 19, for the second time in a week and “found her continuing to do as well as could be expected under these exceedingly challenging circumstances.”