Mercury hold public rally in support of Brittney Griner

Jul 6, 2022, 8:17 AM | Updated: 8:21 pm
Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner's wife, talks prior to a rally for Phoenix Mercury WNBA basketball...

Cherelle Griner, Brittney Griner's wife, talks prior to a rally for Phoenix Mercury WNBA basketball player Griner Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Phoenix. Brittney has been detained in Russia for 133 days, charged in Russia for having vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — They shared laughs, smiles, memories. There also were tears, fears, unease.

Through the range of emotions, one common thread bonded them together: Brittney Griner.

Wearing “BG” shirts and holding signs, several hundred fans gathered for a public rally in support of Griner on Wednesday, hoping their sentiments would reach the WNBA player 6,000 miles away in a Russian jail cell.

“It’s really painful and hard to watch, and it’s really taken a toll on a lot of us,” said Kelly Gedney of Surprise, Arizona. “We can feel the fear that she has. It’s scary to me that she’s in a cage when she is traveling to her court cases. She’s been wrongfully detained and we’re going to do everything we can to get her home.”

Griner has spent the past four months in a Russian prison and is currently on trial. She’s accused of possessing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil when she arrived at the Moscow airport while returning to play for her Russian team, facing a prison term of up to 10 years if convicted.

The WNBA and U.S. officials have worked to free Griner, without success. Griner was able to send a handwritten letter to President Joe Biden, saying she feared spending the rest of her life in prison while pushing the administration to not forget about other American detainees.

President Biden called Griner’s wife, Cherelle, on Wednesday to tell her that he is working to free her as soon as possible.

“One hundred thirty-nine days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to me, to our family and our friends,” Cherelle Griner said during the rally, stopping to compose herself several times. “I’m frustrated my wife is not going to get justice. I know you all are frustrated, too. That’s why you’re here.”

The rally at the Footprint Center, home of the Phoenix Mercury and Suns, was part celebration of Griner’s accomplishments on and off the court with a call to action.

The rally featured videos of Griner giving back to the community, dancers and a dramatic poem reading as many of Mercury teammates sat together in chairs on the right side of the court.

Phoenix Suns player Torey Craig spoke, as did Mercury player Brianna Turner.

“To know BG is to know such a kind spirit, a nice person, such a giver — I can go on and on about the type of person she is,” said Turner, who also was able to exchange letters with Griner. “We need to get her back home. She deserves to be home. She needs to be back with her family and friends. We are BG.”

Arizona Congressman Greg Stanton, the former Phoenix mayor, also was on hand after pushing a resolution calling for Griner’s immediate release passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this week.

“Today was important, a show of unity, speaking in one voice that we expect our president, our administration to do what it takes to bring our fellow American back home,” Stanton said.

___

To see more AP stories on Griner: https://apnews.com/hub/brittney-griner

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

This undated image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration shows the FDA's Center for Toba...
Associated Press

Insider Q&A: FDA official on vaping’s “promise or peril”

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s been no honeymoon period for the Food and Drug Administration’s new tobacco chief, Brian King, the public health scientist now responsible for regulating the nation’s multibillion-dollar cigarette and vaping industry. The problems facing FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products have only multiplied since King’s arrival in July from the Centers for Disease […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

1 shot, officer injured in Chicago police facility incident

CHICAGO (AP) — One person was shot and a Chicago police officer was wounded Monday during an incident inside a police facility on the city’s West Side, officials said. Shots were fired shortly before noon at the building in Homan Square, police spokesman Tom Ahern told WGN-TV. The officer was taken to Sinai Hospital in […]
1 day ago
Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi speaks to reporters during a news conference in Athens on ...
Associated Press

Greece: EU using Med countries like a refugee ‘parking lot’

ATHENS (AP) — Greece on Monday urged the European Union to lift movement restrictions for refugees recognized by individual nations, accusing the bloc of applying a double standard when dealing with Ukrainians fleeing the war compared with the victims of other conflicts. Notis Mitarachi, Greece’s migration affairs minister, said a “lack of solidarity” was holding […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

White House announces Dec. 1 state visit for France’s Macron

WASHINGTON (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron will travel to Washington in early December for the first state visit of President Joe Biden’s tenure, an occasion marked by pomp and pageantry that is designed to celebrate relations between the United States and its closest allies. The Dec. 1 visit will be the second U.S. state […]
1 day ago
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro, left, and Venezuela's Transportation Minister Ramon Araguayan s...
Associated Press

Cargo traffic movement resumes between Colombia, Venezuela

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Trucks loaded with aluminum and medications crossed a bridge linking Colombia and Venezuela for the first time in seven years Monday following restoration of diplomatic relations, giving regional businesses hope for growing trade. Colombia’s new leftist President Gustavo Petro, who took office in August and quickly moved to reestablish ties with […]
1 day ago
President Joe Biden holds up a jersey during an event celebrating the 2021 World Series champion At...
Associated Press

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Monday the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration. Biden called the series an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Mercury hold public rally in support of Brittney Griner