Two WNBA athletes are speaking out amid Brittney Griner‘s detainment in Russia over alleged drug possession.
Griner was arrested back in February after customs agents at a Russian airport claimed the MVP had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil inside her carry-on luggage. Athletes within the WNBA have mostly stayed silent on the matter to avoid causing disruption to diplomatic attempts to get the 31-year-old freed.
Now, some of her teammates are speaking up about the situation.
“People are saying she’s 6ft 9in. It’s really not about that,” Minnesota Lynx forward Angel McCoughtry said Wednesday (March 30) at training camp. “It could have been any of us.”
Griner, like many WNBA players in the league, travel overseas to play during the off season. Griner’s fellow WNBA athletes say it’s because of conditions in the US.
“The big thing is the fact that we have to go over there,” said Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart, who clears over $1 million to play in Russia. “WNBA players need to be valued in their own country and they won’t have to play overseas.”
In addition to raising awareness about Griner’s and other player’s situation, Stewart said she’ll donate to The Phoenix Rescue Mission, a charity the Phoenix Mercury star has been heavily involved with for years.
“While BG is away I wanted to support her and her charitable efforts and what I can from an off-the-court standpoint to help her and her family,” Stewart said.
US officials have not released much information about Griner’s detainment. In March, a Russian state news agency reported that Griner’s detainment would be extended through May 19.