Kyrie Irving, a star for the Brooklyn Nets, grabbed a microphone in the middle of the court prior to the season-opening game for his team to call on Democrat President Joe Biden to actually do his job and find a way to get Brittney Griner, a star of the WNBA, back home to the U.S.
Irving issued this loud challenge as he spoke to the crowd at the Barclays Center this past Wednesday evening. Griner was officially sentenced to a sting of nine years in prison in Russia for transporting cannabis into the nation, which she expressed was “an honest mistake.”
“I appreciate us being able to share this floor together, all of us as brothers. But the big picture that’s going on in the world is free our sister, Brittney Griner. Please,” stated Irving while addressing the hometown crowd.
“POTUS, do your job. Everybody do your job. Please bring our sister home. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs to the best of our ability if we didn’t stand for what we believe in,” he exclaimed.
Griner, who was the star center for the Phoenix Mercury, was taken into custody back in February for being in possession of vape cartridges within her luggage that contained Cannabis oil while at the airport in Moscow.
The arrest of the WNBA star took place just four days prior to Russia kicking off its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. She has, as of writing, been held in the prison for over roughly seven months. The massive 6-foot, 9-inch center was slammed with a sentence of nine years in prison this past August, which is notably just under the 10-year maximum sentence the charge carries.
“I never meant to hurt anybody, I never meant to put in jeopardy the Russian population, I never meant to break any laws here,” stated Griner prior to the announcement of the verdict. “I made an honest mistake and I hope that in your ruling that it doesn’t end my life here. I know everybody keeps talking about political pawn and politics, but I hope that that is far from this courtroom.”
This past Tuesday, officials within the WNBA honored Griner for her 32nd birthday.
“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,” expressed the League’s social media accounts.
Another star, this time Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors, also spoke out in support of the release of Griner during the championship ring ceremony for his team which was held on Tuesday.
“We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community,” expressed Curry to the gathered crowd prior to its season opener against the L.A. Lakers.
An appeal for Giner’s case has been set up in Russia. The date of the appeal has been set to take place in a regional court in Moscow on the 25th of October.