Brittney Griner’s coach is speaking out about her incarceration in Russia. Phoenix Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard said that Griner isn’t home due to racism, sexism and homophobia.
“If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right?” Nygaard said to reporters after the Mercury’s game on July 4. “It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a Black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those things. We know it, and so that’s what hurts a little more.”
Brittney Griner has been in a Russian jail since Feb. 17. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested after a vape cartridge with cannibas oil was found in her luggage at the airport. Her trial is underway and she faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on drug charges.
In a letter Griner wrote to President Joe Biden, the Phoenix Mercury center shared that she is “terrified I might be here forever.”
On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.
Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.
Griner’s wife Cherelle said that she decided to a write a letter to Biden since the family couldn’t get in touch with him.
“It kills me every time that, you know, when I have to write her and she’s asking, ‘Have you met with them yet?’ And I have to say no,” she said on CBS Mornings. “I’m sure she is like ‘I’m going to write him and ask now because my family has tried to no avail, so I’m going to do it myself’.”
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