Gathered in the center of the floor, all holding each other by the waist, heads bowed, some in tears. The Phoenix and Connecticut players showed their support for Brittney Griner before their game. 42 seconds of silence, which corresponds to the player’s usual number with Phoenix.
The tribute from the two WNBA teams comes after player Brittney Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison by a Russian court for drug trafficking. She was arrested in February in Moscow with a vaporizer containing cannabis-based liquid.
Among the public in Connecticut, many spectators had worn t-shirts bearing the image of the star of women’s basketball, with the inscription “We are BG” (“We are BG”).
Mass messages of support
“We are going to play, but how can we focus on this match? It’s such an emotional day for us. It was difficult to hear the news, ”she reacted Vanessa Nygaard, Mercury coach, after learning the verdict.
“Brittney (Griner) was so brave, she showed great strength and great humility. We just want her to come home,” she concluded. Earlier in the day, the American sports world expressed its sadness and called on the American government to use all its power to “free BG”. A slogan that continues to flow on social networks, like a Tweet from NBA star Ja Morant.
After calling the heavy sentence “unacceptable”, Joe Biden reopened the way for a possible prisoner exchange between Moscow and Washington. “We made a substantial offer to bring her (…) home. We urge Russia to accept this proposal,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said.
In the meantime, Brittney Griner’s lawyers have announced that they will appeal this court decision, which they consider “insane”.