Kyrie Irving urges Biden to bring Brittney Griner home: ‘POTUS, do your job’
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is urging President Biden and his administration to continue their efforts to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home nine months after she was taken into custody in Russia.
Irving spoke out about Griner during his team’s season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night.
“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,” Irving told the crowd before tip-off. “Please, please POTUS, do your job. Everybody do your job, please bring our sister home.”
Irving, who received media attention and criticism for his resistance to getting the COVID-19 vaccine and stance against vaccine mandates, followed Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who made similar remarks on Griner’s detainment the night before.
“We want to continue to let her name be known and we pray that it’s been 243 days that she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia,” Curry said during his team’s championship ring ceremony Tuesday night. He also wished Griner a happy birthday.
Griner, who turned 32 on Tuesday, has been held in Russia since February when she was arrested by authorities days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
A Russian court handed down a nine-year prison sentence to Griner after she pleaded guilty to charges connected to cannabis oil found in vaping cartridges in her possession when she entered the country.
A Russian court earlier this month set Griner’s appeal hearing on Oct. 25th.
The Biden administration has made Griner’s case — along with the case of another detained American, former U.S. Marine Paul Whalen — one of its top priorities, saying that both individuals are being wrongfully detained in the country.
In a statement through her attorneys, Griner thanked everyone for their continued support and well wishes during her ordeal.
“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home,” Griner said in a statement. “All the support and love are definitely helping me.”
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