Steph Curry gives shoutout to Brittney Griner on her birthday
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry on Tuesday gave a shoutout to WNBA star Brittney Griner as she celebrates her 32nd birthday while detained in Russian custody.
During his team’s ring ceremony Tuesday night, Curry, the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goals, made an impassioned plea to the audience in attendance to not forget Griner’s name.
The Warriors, who defeated the Boston Celtics in six games last season to earn their fourth league championship in eight years, opened their 2022-23 NBA regular season facing off against the Los Angeles Lakers.
“We want to continue to use our platform to and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community,” Curry said. “Brittney Griner’s birthday is today, she’s 32 years old.”
“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,” the two-time league MVP added. “We hope that she comes home soon and everybody is doing their part to get her home.”
Curry’s remarks come after a Kremlin official on Sunday said that Griner’s case isn’t a major priority for Russia, noting that the U.S. has other issues to focus on.
“In this tense situation, I think that he (Biden) is thinking first and foremost about the upcoming midterm elections,” Yury Ushakov, a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, told a Russian media outlet. “He keeps emphasizing the need to bring (Griner) back home … however, it’s not the main issue that we are concerned about.”
The 32-year-old Phoenix Mercury star has been held in detainment in Russia since February, when she was arrested by authorities days after Russia began its unprovoked invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Griner, a seven-time WNBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist, was handed down a nine-year prison sentence by a Russian court after pleading guilty to the charges against her.
The Biden administration has made Griner’s case — along with another detained American former U.S. Marine Paul Whalen’s case — one of its top priorities, saying that both individuals are wrongfully detained in the country.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, recently said in a “CBS Mornings” interview earlier this month that she is terrified that her partner won’t return back to the states.
“It’s like a movie for me. In no world would I have ever thought our president and a foreign nation president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife,” she told “CBS Mornings” anchor Gayle King in the interview. “It feels to me as if she is a hostage. … It terrifies me.”