Stephen Curry took a moment to show support for fellow basketball star Brittney Griner during the Golden State Warriors’s Champions Ring Night ceremony on Oct. 18. Before facing off against the Los Angeles Lakers in San Francisco, the Warriors took the court to celebrate their NBA championship win last season and receive their rings. Curry addressed fans gathered at the Chase Center, using his moment in the spotlight to again urge for the release of Griner, who’s been detained in Russia on drug charges since February.
“We want to continue to let her name be known.”
After thanking the crowd for their support, Curry said, “We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community. Brittney Griner’s birthday is today, she’s 32 years old.” He continued, “We want to continue to let her name be known and it’s been 243 days since she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia. We hope that she comes home soon, that everybody’s doing their part to get her home.”
“Brittney Griner’s birthday is today. … We want to continue to let her name be known.” @StephenCurry30 took a moment to show support to Griner at the Warriors ring ceremony. pic.twitter.com/TV6LsvZiD2
— ESPN (@espn) October 19, 2022
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 when Russian authorities allegedly found hash-oil vape cartridges in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow. On Aug. 4, after months of detainment, the Phoenix Mercury player was sentenced to nine years in prison on charges of drug smuggling with criminal intent, despite her testimony that she packed the cartridges by accident. She is currently awaiting a hearing to appeal against her sentence, scheduled to take place on Oct. 25.
While observing her 32nd birthday in a Russian prison, Griner released a message of gratitude to her supporters, sharing the statement through her attorneys. According to CNN, it read: “Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me.” That same day, her wife, Cherelle Griner, shared a throwback Instagram selfie of them with the caption, “Happy Birthday to my favorite person! 🤍Missing your company even more today! #WeAreBG.”
Curry’s pregame birthday shoutout to Griner wasn’t the first time he called attention to her detainment. At the 2022 ESPYs in July, he and WBNA stars Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith took the stage to celebrate Griner’s career accomplishments, including her two Olympic gold medals, and call for her peaceful return to the United States. “There are a lot of people working hard right now to secure Brittney’s release, but as we hope for the best, we urge the entire global sports community to stay energized on her behalf,” Curry said. Ogwumike added, “The more we say her name, the louder our voices will be.”