Photo: Getty
  /  09.25.2022

Brittney Griner’s teammates are standing in solidarity as they boycott playing basketball in Russia during the off-season.

The WNBA’s regular season ended on Aug. 14. Many of The league’s players venture overseas to continue playing ball and making, in some instances, quadruple their U.S. salaries, but at least three of Griner’s Euroleague teammates will have new jerseys on their backs in a few months.

“Honestly, my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with BG still wrongfully detained there, nobody’s going to go there until she’s home,” said Breanna Stewart, one of Griner’s Ekaterinburg teammates. “I think that, you know, now, people want to go overseas and if the money is not much different, they want to be in a better place,” she told the Associated Press during a Sept. 20 interview.

Griner and Stewart’s teammates, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot, are also planning to play for a team outside of Russia in the winter. This past March, former Los Angeles Sparks star Lisa Leslie told the “I Am Athlete” podcast that she and others were told to stay quiet about the ordeal. “What we were told, and again, this is all sort of passed along through hearsay, but what we were told was to not make a big fuss about it so that they could not use her as a pawn, so to speak, in this situation in the war,” said Leslie.

Griner is currently serving a 9-year prison sentence after being found guilty of drug possession. As previously reported by REVOLT, the Olympic ballplayer was arrested at Sheremetyevo International Airport in February. Since her arrest, U.S. officials, including President Joe Biden, have been in negotiations with Russian authorities to secure Griner’s return home. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, shared a post on Sept. 17 reassuring the superstar’s fans that efforts to have the athlete released are still underway. “I’ve felt every minute of the grueling seven months without her. I look forward to the day my wife is back home,” she wrote.

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