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The WNBA showed its dedication to keeping seven-time WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner’s name in the spotlight during All-Star weekend. In the second half of the All-Star game, all of the players wore jerseys with Griner’s name and number, 42. 

WNBA legend Sue Bird explained the show of support:

“We just wanted to make sure at some point that we were able to, on national television, obviously in front of a (big) crowd, put Brittney’s name in the forefront,” Bird said. “That was our way of honoring her,” Associated Press reported.

It should come as no surprise that the women’s league would center Griner, considering her name is at the center of international controversy. Griner’s detainment in Russia has been a point of contention for women and athletes since her arrest for carrying vape paraphernalia and hashish oil in her luggage while coming through the Sheremetyevo International Airport


As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, Griner pled guilty to drug charges, but maintains she did not intend to break the law.

“I’d like to plead guilty, your honor. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” she said in court.

The plea is seen as the best step moving forward in her release. The Russian court system has a 99 percent conviction rate. An acquittal is an unlikely outcome of a prolonged trial. Pleading guilty allows the government to begin negotiations for a potential prisoner exchange. Insider legal consultant Aron Solomon discussed how this path makes sense for Griner moving forward

“She is following the best legal and political advice she can get in her situation,” Solomon continued “It makes no difference what her plea is, as she’s going to be found guilty.”

Brittney’s wife Cherelle Griner is becoming more vocal and exasperated with the process. Cheryl has interviewed with the press calling on the Biden administration to increase their efforts in getting her wife home, MN noted.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have reached out to Mrs. Griner to reassure her that the work to free Griner continues. Vice President Harris spoke with Face The Nation, about the government’s efforts to return Griner, and others detained by Russia, home.

“We take very seriously and we’ve been very clear, Brittany Griner, and there are sadly other Americans who are being unlawfully detained around the world, and it is on our highest priority list to bring those folks home. And so you are right, the President and I and- and Jake Sullivan and others have been in touch with Cherelle Griner, Brittany Griner’s wife, to do what we can to lend support. I can’t talk to you about the details, what’s happening behind the scenes, but I can tell you that it is one of our highest priorities to bring these Americans home.”

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