Nets’ Kyrie Irving tells Biden to get Brittney Griner home: ‘POTUS, do your job’
Prior to the Brooklyn Nets’ home opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving addressed the Barclays Center crowd before the marathon of a season got underway.
But he had more than an encouraging message for the Nets faithful: Irving wants President Biden to bring WNBA star Brittney Griner back to the states.
Griner, who is still incarcerated in Russia after being arrested for having vape canisters with cannabis oil insider her luggage while traveling through an airport near Moscow in February, released a message on Tuesday, her 32nd birthday.
“Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home,” her representatives shared. “All the support and love are definitely helping me.”
Irving wants more to be done so Griner can return to the United States.
“I appreciate us being able to share this floor together, all of us as brothers. But the big picture that’s going on in the world is free our sister, Brittney Griner. Please,” Irving said to the cheering crowd. “POTUS, do your job. Everybody do your job. Please bring our sister home. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs to the best of our ability if we didn’t stand for what we believe in.”
Last week, Griner’s attorney said she is growing increasingly nervous about the prospects of being released.
“She is not yet absolutely convinced that America will be able to take her home,” Alexander Boykov said in an interview with the New York Times. “She is very worried about what the price of that will be, and she is afraid that she will have to serve the whole sentence here in Russia.”
The Biden administration reportedly talked about a potential prisoner swap to free her and another American held in a Russian jail.
Irving is one of many public figures that have spoken out about Griner’s situation. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, helped create the #WeAreBG movement in the hopes that President Biden and others feel pressure to get her back home.
The WNBA also posted a photo saying, “We will not forget about you and we will not stop fighting for you.”
Tennis legend Billie Jean King also released a statement via Twitter on Tuesday for Griner’s birthday, saying, “She will spend her birthday in a Russian prison, where she has been unlawfully detained for 8 months. Let’s continue to advocate for her release and bring her home.”
Griner was sentenced to nine years in person in August. She has an appeal scheduled for Oct. 25.