VP Harris gives pregame speech ahead of Brittney Griner’s WNBA return
Vice President Harris was in the Phoenix Mercury locker room ahead of Brittney Griner’s return to the basketball court.
Griner was arrested in February 2022 at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport after authorities discovered vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage.
She was given a nine-year prison sentence, but President Biden pulled off a prisoner swap that returned Griner to the states.
Fifteen months after her arrest, she’s back on the floor and Harris has made a visit to her.
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“Thank you for all that you did in supporting Brittney, because I know that was rough, and that was so difficult for you,” Harris said.
Griner’s release came with some backlash because she was brought home in exchange for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout while retired U.S. Marine Paul Whelan remained in a Russian jail.
Griner said she had a “harrowing experience” in Russia.
WNBA STAR BRITTNEY GRINER TO STAND FOR ANTHEM AFTER BEING ‘STRIPPED OF HER ESSENTIAL AMERICAN FREEDOMS’
“I arrived in Moscow to rejoin the UMMC Ekaterinburg basketball team and was immediately detained at the airport. That day was the beginning of an unfathomable period in my life which only now am I ready to share,” Griner wrote in a post on Instagram.
The WNBA posted a video of several Los Angeles Sparks players – Griner’s opponent on Friday – discussing the WNBA star n a positive light on Thursday.
“What I love about having BG back on the floor is that basketball is her safe space,” Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike said in the video. “Growing up in Houston, Texas together alongside my sister, we followed her career closely, we supported each other, and just to have her back, it means the world to us.”
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Aside from the preseason, Friday marks Griner’s first WNBA game since the 2021 Finals on Oct. 17 of that year.