WNBA players and their union leaders have called for the release of Brittany Greener from a Russian prison on Saturday, the 100th anniversary of the arrest of a US basketball star.
“Right now, on the 100th day of BG’s unjust detention, we urge everyone to use their platforms, regardless of size, to focus on his unjust detention, to meet and receive Cheryl (Greener’s wife) with President Biden.” Our sister’s home, “the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) said in a statement.
Greener was arrested in February amid tensions over Ukraine.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist and WNBA champion was arrested on February 17 at Moscow airport on charges of carrying his luggage vap cartridge with marijuana oil, which is illegal in Russia.
However, on May 3, the US State Department said it had determined that Russia had “incorrectly detained Brittany Greener, a US citizen.”
On May 13, Russian state media reported that Greener’s pre-trial detention had been extended to June 18.
Shortly after Greener’s arrest, the WNBA made little comment on the case, hoping it would not provoke the situation.
Since the State Department’s announcement that he has been unjustly detained, there have been more vocal calls for his release.
“To athletes, of any age, level of qualification, team, sport or country: this is our teammate,” WNBPA wrote. “As a member of our global sports community, we must stand up and stand together to call for his release.”
Several WNBA and NBA players tweeted about Greener on Saturday.
“Britney Greener has been illegally detained in Russia since February 17, 2022,” wrote Brooklyn net star Kiri Irving. “I urge the (White House) to make it a priority to return to the safe haven of Brittany immediately! #WeAreBG “
Greener, 32, was traveling to Russia to play club basketball when he was arrested.
Since then, the United States and Russia have exchanged prisoners with Russia, freeing former U.S. Marine Trevor Reid, who has been accused of fighting with police.
The United States has said Russia unjustly detained Paul Huilan, a former security guard at a car parts company who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for espionage.
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