It’s been tough to follow the story of Brittney Griner’s continued detention in Russia without feeling a sense of helplessness and wondering what can be done to help her. There have been few if any glimmers of hope in her situation — Russian prisons don’t really do hope.
But Griner just released a statement to her fans for the first time since she was arrested for possessing a vape pen with hashish oil back in February. And based on what she said, everyone’s efforts on her behalf are being heard and it is helping her make it through an otherwise bleak situation.
As CNN’s Ana Cabrera reported on Twitter, Griner’s message through her lawyer read: “Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me.”
Griner’s statement was sent out on her 32nd birthday on Tuesday. Throughout the day, the support and love she referenced was echoed throughout the sports world, with several prominent figures using their platform to amplify the #WeAreBG cause.
Billie Jean King reminded all of her followers that Griner has spent eight months living under unlawful detention.
Today, Brittney Griner turns 32.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) October 18, 2022
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.#WeAreBG
The WNBA vowed to be front and center in continuing the fight to help secure her release and left it abundantly clear that there is a void in their league without her presence.
Happy Birthday Brittney Griner, we will not forget about you and we will not stop fighting for you. The W won’t be the same until you’re home #WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/J5sO2EkGLL— WNBA (@WNBA) October 18, 2022
During the Golden State Warriors’ championship ring ceremony on their opening night, Stephen Curry told a capacity crowd that, “We want to continue to let her name be known…it’s been 243 days since she’s been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia. We hope that she comes home soon and everybody’s doing their part to get her home.”
"Brittney Griner's birthday is today, she's 32 years old."— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 19, 2022
Steph gave BG a shoutout during the Dub's ring ceremony. She's been wrongfully incarcerated in Russia for 243 days. pic.twitter.com/dCh0SvxZUl
Curry’s words were amplified by Christina Kahrl.
Hearing @StephenCurry30 remember Brittney Griner tonight is something everyone should hear. #bringbrittneyhome— Christina Kahrl (@ChristinaKahrl) October 19, 2022
Finally, the Phoenix Mercury commemorated Griner’s birthday by showing everyone that although she’s being used as a pawn in a Kafkaesque nightmare, it’s important to remember all of her other qualities so that we never lose sight of her as a human being.
Her smile. Her personality. Her joy. This is who Brittney Griner is pic.twitter.com/D7YRtTTC4R— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) October 18, 2022
Let’s all keep fighting to ensure that we see that smile and that joy set free again very soon.