HomePoliticsWNBA players honor Brittney Griner at the All-Star Game

WNBA players honor Brittney Griner at the All-Star Game

A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart and the rest of the WNBA All-Stars lined the sideline after halftime, No. 42 and the Griner name on the back of all their jerseys.

Brittney Griner she was everywhere on Sunday, everywhere except where the best players in the league felt she should be: playing in the landmark WNBA All-Star Game, in which Team Wilson pulled away from Team Stewart for a 134-game victory. -112.

Griner is in Russia, where she has been detained since February after police said they found vape cans containing cannabis oil in her luggage. The eight-time All-Star pleaded guilty Thursday to drug possession charges that could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

Vice President Kamala Harris, speaking on “Face the Nation” on Sundayhe said “we will do everything we can to bring her home as soon as possible”.

WNBA All Star Basketball
Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, watches a WNBA All-Star basketball game between Team Wilson and Team Stewart in Chicago, Sunday, July 10, 2022.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

“We take ourselves very seriously and we have been very clear, Brittney Griner, and unfortunately there are other Americans who are being unlawfully detained around the world, and it is on our top priority list to bring those people home,” Harris said. “So you’re right, the president and I, Jake Sullivan and others have been in contact with Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner’s wife, to do what we can to support her. I can’t speak to you about the details, what’s going on.” “. behind the scenes, but I can tell you that bringing these Americans home is one of our top priorities.”

Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said Friday that President Joe Biden sent Griner a letter. “I was able to read the letter and it brought a lot of joy to me as well as to BG,” Cherelle said. “I think every word she said to him he understood. And he sees her as a person, and he hasn’t forgotten her, which was the biggest cry of hers in her letter.”

Cherelle added that she was grateful to the Biden administration for “exhausting every effort” to bring the basketball player home. Cherelle said the Biden administration is the first his wife voted for.

While advocating for Griner’s release, the WNBA also honored your bird and Sylvia Fowles in the final All-Star Game for the two retiring players. Fowles had the highlight of the day, stealing and dunking for Team Wilson with 4:04 left in the first half.

Bird received a standing ovation when he retired with 2:10 remaining and acknowledged the cheers with a wave.

Las Vegas Aces shooting guard Kelsey Plum was named MVP after scoring 30 points for Team Wilson in her first All-Star appearance. Sabrina Ionescu had 15, and Chicago Sky forward Candace Parker finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in her hometown.

WNBA All Star Basketball
Team Wilson’s Kelsey Plum, right, drives to the basket past Team Stewart’s Jewell Loyd during the second half of a WNBA All-Star basketball game in Chicago, Sunday, July 10, 2022.

Nam Y. Huh / AP

Jonquel Jones, the reigning WNBA MVP who plays for the Connecticut Sun, had 29 points and 13 rebounds for Team Stewart.

Just before the second half, when the players wore Griner’s name and number 42 on the back of their jerseys, Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot hugged Cherelle Griner, Brittney’s wife.

“We’re thinking about Brittney Griner right now,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “She continues to be a huge priority for us, she continues to have our full support. Totally focused on getting her home safely and as soon as possible.”

It was the first WNBA All-Star Game in Chicago, home of the defending champion Sky.

The league has landed in the Windy City, in perhaps its strongest position since it began play in 1997. Viewership has increased, some major corporate partners have signed on, and a wave of up-and-coming young stars like Wilson, Ionescu and Plum are joining. moving forward.

Engelbert announced that this year’s WNBA Finals teams will travel on charter flights, and the league is increasing its postseason bonus pool by nearly 50% to $500,000. Next season will stretch to 40 games, up from 36 this year, and Engelbert said the league has been meeting with potential ownership groups for expansion teams.

“We continue to work very hard on business transformation to improve the player experience,” said Engelbert.

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