- Steph Curry and Megan Rapinoe called for Brittney Griner's release from Russian detention at the ESPYs.
- Curry urged "the entire global sports community to continue to stay energized on her behalf."
- Rapinoe said Griner "deserves to be free" and said "we're doing every single thing" to get her home.
Steph Curry, Megan Rapinoe, and other star athletes took time at Wednesday night's ESPY awards to call for Brittney Griner's release from Russian detention.
"There are a lot of people working hard right now to secure Brittney's release, but as we hope for the best, we urge the entire global sports community to continue to stay energized on her behalf,'' Curry said as he took the stage wearing Griner's Phoenix Mercury jersey.
"Because Brittney isn't just on the Phoenix Mercury, she isn't just a member of her team in Russia, she isn't just an Olympian," the Golden State Warriors star said. "She's one of us, the team of athletes in this room tonight and all over the world. A team that has nothing to do with politics or global conflict."
Flanked by Skylar Diggins-Smith and Nneka Ogwumike, Curry, who was announcing that the WNBA was recognized as the Sports Humanitarian League of the year, said he was "thrilled" to have the WNBA stars there at the awards but recognized that Griner was missing.
"We also need to acknowledge who isn't here," Curry said. "Her name is right here on this jersey."
"It's been 153 nights now that BG has been wrongfully detained thousands of miles away from home, away from her family, away from her friends, away from her team,'' Diggins-Smith added. "All throughout that time, we've kept her in our thoughts and in our hearts even though we know that ain't nearly enough to bring her home, y'all."
Griner has been detained in a Russian prison since February 17, when she was arrested at a Moscow airport after officials found hashish oil and vape cartridges in her luggage.
She has since pleaded guilty to the charges against her and faces up to 10 years in prison. Her trial is already underway.
The Biden administration has said it is working hard to get Griner home.
Later in the night, US Women's National Soccer Team star Rapinoe echoed similar sentiments while accepting her award for Best Play.
"I think for me, the most striking thing is that BG is not here," Rapinoe said after acknowledging "the importance of sports" and how much the sports world can get done with their "collective power."
—SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 21, 2022
"BG deserves to be free," Rapinoe said to an applauding audience. "She's being held as a political prisoner. We're probably not going to get her out tonight ... but tomorrow, and the next week, and the next day ... every time we see BG's face ... every time we say her name ... it puts pressure on everybody, it puts pressure on the administration, it puts pressure on Russia, it puts pressure on Putin, it puts pressure on everyone."
Rapinoe continued: "It lets BG know, also, above everything, that we love her and that we miss her and that we're thinking about her all the time and we're doing every single thing that we can to get her out because that's honestly the most important thing."