In the Brooklyn Nets’ season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, Kyrie Irving urged United States president Joe Biden to take action and help WNBA star Brittney Griner get out of Russian prison.
With the NBA season starting, the issue might be forgotten as fans focus on the games. However, Irving joined several other NBA players in making sure that doesn’t happen. In his pre-game speech, the Nets guard sent a strong message to the POTUS as he expressed his wish to see Griner back to US soil safely.
“Please, POTUS do your job,” Irving said, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Kyrie Irving’s stern demand to Joe Biden comes amid reports about Brittney Griner’s ugly conditions in Russian prison. She is even said to be losing hope that America can take her home.
To recall, the Phoenix Mercury center was sentenced to nine years in prison after she was found guilty of drug possession and smuggling. She has been detained in the country since February.
As mentioned, Irving wasn’t the only one who is spreading awareness on the issue. As Griner celebrated her 32nd birthday on Tuesday, Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry gave her a shoutout and reminded everyone that it has been over 200 days since she was “wrongfully incarcerated.”
Meanwhile, Udonis Haslem and the Miami Heat showed their support for Griner in a message before taking on the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
There’s still no clarity whether or not the US government has made significant strides in bringing Griner home. A prisoner swap has been largely reported, but how far along the US is in negotiations has yet to be revealed.
Hopefully as more athletes speak about the issue and bring awareness to it, there will also be more action from the authorities.