Celtics Players Show Support for Brittney Griner on Day of Sentencing

Celtics players show support for Brittney Griner on day of sentencing originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner was sentenced by the Russian government to nine years in prison on Thursday.

The NBA and Celtics players have been calling for her release for months now. The C's wore "WE ARE BG" shirts during media availability ahead of Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Finals.

Since Griner's sentencing, many Celtics players have further expressed their support and have called for her release. 

Celtics make collective statement about Brittney Griner's detainment

One of the most outspoken Celtics is Grant Williams, who is a Vice President of the NBA Players Association. He helped coordinate with the WNBA's Players Association so that the Celtics could wear the "WE ARE BG" shirts. 

On Thursday, Williams expressed his support for Griner on Twitter, saying "No way! 9 years? Bring our sister and friend home. #FREEBG." He also retweeted many other responses to the WNBA star's sentencing.

Jayson Tatum also showed support via Twitter. Tatum got to know Griner during the the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Both players won gold medals for Team USA.

The NBA and WNBA published a joint statement about Griner's sentence on Thursday, stating that the "verdict and sentencing is unjustified and unfortunate" and that "Brittney Griner remains wrongly detained."

Griner was arrested in the Moscow airport back in February after Russian officials found less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage. The basketball player claims that she packed the cannabis, for which she had a medical prescription, by accident and had no intent on using it in Russia.

The advocacy of the NBA and its players has helped bring Griner's wrongful imprisonment to the forefront of American news. In doing so, players have helped put pressure on the United States government to bring Griner home. 

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