Brittney Griner was acknowledged on the 2022 ESPYs in methods each deliberate and spontaneous. The award present was held in Los Angeles on July 20 and included a number of mentions of the detained basketball participant. One devoted section was led by Stephen Curry, who was the night’s host, with Los Angeles Sparks participant Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who’s Griner’s teammate on the Phoenix Mercury.
Amid festivities and acceptance speeches, Curry appeared on stage to announce the WNBA because the sports activities humanitarian league of the 12 months. “We’re thrilled to have Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith among the many WNBA stars right here tonight, however we additionally have to acknowledge one who is not right here. Her identify is correct right here on this jersey,” Curry stated whereas carrying a Mercury jersey with Griner’s quantity, 42.
“The extra we are saying her identify, the louder our voices will probably be.”
Ogwumike joined in, itemizing Griner’s profession highlights and accomplishments, together with her championship finals win in 2014 and her two Olympic gold medals. Above all, nonetheless, Ogwumike described Griner as a “human being whose predicament instructions our consideration.” Diggins-Smith added, “It has been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained hundreds of miles aways from house — away from her household, away from her buddies, away from her staff. All all through that point, we have saved her in our ideas and in our hearts, regardless that we all know that ain’t practically sufficient to deliver her house.”
Curry, Diggins-Smith, and Ogwumike ended the section by urging the worldwide sports activities group to proceed elevating consciousness and calling for Griner’s peaceable return to the US. “The extra we are saying her identify, the louder our voices will probably be,” Ogwumike stated. Diggins-Smith added, “The extra we see her face, the nearer we’ll really feel to her, and her to us.” Then, in unison, the three athletes stated, “We’re BG.”
Megan Rapinoe additionally introduced consideration to Griner’s detainment. Whereas accepting the award for finest play, the soccer participant for the OL Reign and US Girls’s Nationwide Group stated the night reminded her in regards to the impression and “collective energy” of the sports activities group. “BG deserves to be free. She’s being held as a political prisoner,” she stated. “I do not suppose I am getting political, however I do like to get political.”
Just like the athletes who spoke earlier than her, Rapinoe urged attendees to proceed placing strain on world leaders by talking out in public and on social media: “It lets BG know, above every thing, that we love her, we miss her, we’re fascinated by her on a regular basis, and we’re doing each single that we are able to to get her out.” She added, “What are we doing right here dressed up like we’re when our sister is detained overseas?” Rapinoe ended her speech by saying, “We have not accomplished sufficient, none of us. We are able to do extra. We are able to help her extra and let her know that we love her a lot.”
Griner was beforehand honored on the WNBA All-Star Recreation in Chicago on July 10. The basketball courtroom featured a “BG42” decal, and gamers wore jerseys with Griner’s identify and quantity after coming back from halftime. Moreover, the sport’s MVP, Las Vegas Aces participant Kelsey Plum, devoted her trophy to Griner.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17 after officers allegedly discovered hash-oil vape cartridges in her baggage. (Griner was in Russia enjoying for the UMMC Ekaterinburg, as she had accomplished for a number of off-seasons.) Her detention was prolonged a number of occasions till her trial started on July 1. Griner pled responsible to the drug fees, which may end in a 10-year jail sentence. At a July 7 listening to, Griner acknowledged her responsible plea and stated, “However there was no intent. I did not need to break the regulation.”