Steph Curry Addresses Brittney Griner's Detainment on ESPY Awards Stage: 'We Can Not Stop Fighting For Her'
By Zach Seemayer
Amid serving as host of the 2022 ESPY Awards, Steph Curry used his platform to deliver an impassioned message about Brittney Griner, the imprisoned WNBA star who has spent the past five months behind bars in Russia.
Joined by Griner's teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith and fellow WNBA star Nneka Ogwumike, Curry explained said that, amid the night's celebration, they needed to "acknowledge one [athlete] who isn't here" -- Griner.
"Because Brittney isn't just on the Phoenix Mercury, she isn't just a member of her team in Russia, she isn't just an Olympian, she's one of us -- the team of athletes in the room tonight and all over the world, a team that has nothing to do with politics or global conflict," Curry shared.
Ogwumike detailed all of Griner's innumerable accomplishments, sharing, "BG is a WNBA champion, she's an eight-time WNBA all-star, a national champion in college, an Olympic Gold Medalist, an athlete who has fans all over the world, and a human being whose predicament commands our attention."
"It's been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained thousands of miles away from home, away from her family, away from her friends, away from her team," an emotional Diggins-Smith shared. "All throughout that time, we've kept her in our thoughts and in our hearts, even though we know that's not nearly enough to bring her home."
"We cannot stop fighting for her, we cannot believing for her, and we will not stop hoping for the day we can welcome her home safely," Curry concluded, before all three declared in unison, "We are BG."
"BG deserves to be free. She's being held as a political prisoner," Rapinoe said.
The soccer star admitted that it won't be easy, but explained that the most focus and attention people pay to the cause, the more pressure it puts on those in power to pay attention. And it reminds Griner that people are still fighting for her.
"We love her, we miss her. We're thinking about her all the time and we’re doing every single thing we can to get her out," Rapinoe shared.
"We love her. ... We miss her. ... We're doing every single thing we can to get her out."
Griner has been detained in Russia since February after police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The eight-time All-Star pleaded guilty Thursday to drug possession charges that could see a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. A Russian judge ordered Griner, the Phoenix Mercury center who played in Russia during the WNBA off-season, to remain in custody.
"I would like to plead guilty on the charges against me, but I had no intention on breaking any Russian law," she said in court. "I was in a rush packing and the cartridges accidentally ended up in my bags."