State Watch

Group plans demonstration outside WNBA game calling for Griner’s release

An advocacy group has announced plans to demonstrate outside a WNBA game next weekend to call for league star Brittney Griner’s release from prison in Russia. 

In a statement on Monday, the nonprofit organization Black Feminist Future (BFF) announced it will demonstrate at the Atlanta Dream-Phoenix Mercury game on Sunday in Atlanta. Griner, a seven-time WNBA All-Star, played for the Mercury before her detention.

In a statement to The Hill, BFF Director Dominique Symone said the “Bring Brittney Home” campaign aims to raise awareness about Griner’s case.

“It’s business as usual inside of the court, but it’s business as usual with organizing, so the games don’t stop our efforts to bring Brittney Griner home, and that’s what we’re focused on,” Symone told The Hill.

“So we’re going to where her fans are, to let them know that people are organizing on her behalf and we still are in need of support to bring her home.” 

Democratic Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Colin Allred (Texas) and Greg Stanton (Ariz.) recently introduced a resolution calling for the “immediate release” of Griner from Russian custody. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to watch Brittney develop and grow as a professional athlete, but also as a leader in our Phoenix community. We won’t stop working until she’s safely back with her family,” Stanton said in a statement.

Griner, whose case was classified as a “top priority” by the State Department, has been detained in Russia for three months after being accused by Moscow authorities of illegally possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil at an airport. 

Griner’s detention was extended for another 30 days earlier this month. 

Dream players famously protested against the team’s owner, former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), in 2020 for her comments on the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Loeffler, who lost her Senate seat in a January 2021 runoff election, was forced to sell the team afterward. 

The Hill has reached out to the WNBA for comment.

Tags Atlanta Black Feminist Future Brittney Griner Brittney Griner Brittney Griner Collin Allred Georgia Greg Stanton Kelly Loeffler Russia Russia-Ukraine conflict Shelia Jackson Lee WNBA WNBA WNBA

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