Prior to their 2022-23 season getting underway, the Golden State Warriors received their championship rings for winning the NBA title last season. During that occasion, star guard Stephen Curry ended up having an opportunity to speak on the microphone and made sure to mention one very important topic.
Curry asked for the release of women's basketball star Brittney Griner, who was arrested in Moscow in February after officials alleged that they discovered vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. In August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison after she pled guilty to drug smuggling charges. For a full explainer of Griner's situation, click here.
"We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community," Curry said prior to the Warriors' 123-109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
"Brittney Griner's birthday is today, she's 32. We want to continue to let her name be known, and we pray," Curry said. "It's been 243 days since she was wrongfully incarcerated in Russia. We hope that she comes home soon, that everybody's doing their part to get her home."
#WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/wywf4nw6Ge— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) October 19, 2022
Curry was not the only one who brought attention to Griner before their team's season opener. On Wednesday, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving spoke to the crowd before his team's game against the New Orleans Pelicans and said "the big picture going on in the world" was Griner's situation.
"Free our sister Brittney Griner, please. Please, POTUS, do your job," Irving said, referencing U.S. President Joe Biden. "Everybody do your job. Please bring our sister home."
A special message from @KyrieIrving pic.twitter.com/21b6nX7L2a— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) October 19, 2022
The Miami Heat's Udonis Haslem also addressed the crowd on Wednesday before facing the Chicago Bulls, mentioning it was Griner's birthday this week and the fact that she has been detained for 244 days.
"We're still thinking about you and everything that you're going through," Haslem said. "You're on our hearts and our minds."
#WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/uvAx3yYC79— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 19, 2022
Earlier this month, Griner's wife, Cherelle, spoke to CBS' Gayle King and revealed that she is "terrified" that she may never be able to see her wife again. An appeal of Griner's sentence is expected to be heard later this month in a Russian courtroom.
"It feels like my wife is stuck in a hostage situation," Cherelle told King. "It terrified me because when you watch movies, sometimes those situations don't end well. Sometimes they never get the person back."