By: Nina Samone
“WE ARE BG,” was written across t-shirts worn by the Boston Celtics at their practice on Saturday, June 4th, prior to their NBA Finals Game 2.
“BG,” is a nickname for two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner – who has surpassed 100 days of being detained in Russia after they allegedly discovered hash oil in her luggage.
“The shirts were super important not only in showing our support for our sister that is detained over in Russia, Brittney Griner, we just wanted to show that togetherness and love that we have throughout not only the NBA but the WNBA,” Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams said.
“We hope to have her back in the U.S. and reunited with her family and do what she loves and bring that love and tenacity she always plays with on the court.” Williams is vice president for the National Basketball Players Association.
Nobody has forgotten about Griner or ceased their efforts to bring her home – Trevor Reed, an American veteran who spent nearly three years detained in Russia called for faster action to free Griner.
Reed had joined supporters at a rally for Griner in Houston on Monday and said Griner would face great discrimination in Russia due to her race and sexuality.
He also described the conditions in Russia as “completely inhospitable,” with scarce medical care, rotten food and a “medieval” legal system.
“There is no justice in Russia,” he said. “Brittney and Paul [fellow American detainee] will not receive justice in Russia. They’re not going to receive a fair trial, they will not receive a fair investigation. They will be there as hostages until the United States gets them out.”
Reed described other horrendous conditions as well, including how there was fecal matter on the walls and floor, and the toilet was nothing more than a hole in the ground.
He even described how in the psychiatric facility there was blood on the walls where prisoners had tried to hurt themselves and others. His release took months and months of hard and careful work from the U.S. government.
Griner’s case remains a top priority according to a State Department spokesman.
Public appeals for Griner’s expedited release continue to grow – including from LeBron James who tweeted on Sunday, “We need to come together and help do whatever we possibly can to bring BG home quickly and safely!! Our voice as athletes is stronger together.”
He then posted a letter that included a link to a petition approaching 300,000 signatures, calling for the safe return of Brittney Griner.
The supportive hashtag “#WeAreBG” and tags including the White House have also been going around social media.
Bontempts, Tim. June 4th, 2022. ESPN. “Boston Celtics ‘wanted to show that togetherness and love,’ wear shirts in support of Brittney Griner.” <https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34038185/boston-celtics-wanted-show-togetherness-love-wear-shirts-support-brittney-griner>
Caldwell, Travis. June 7th, 2022. CNN. “Trevor Reed calls for Brittney Griner’s release as he details horrendous conditions of Russian detainment.” <https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/07/politics/brittney-griner-trevor-reed-rally-russia-detention/index.html>
Adams, Matt. June 6th, 2022. “LeBron James and the NBA have not forgotten Brittney Griner.” <https://www.npr.org/2022/06/06/1103342839/lebron-james-birttney-griner-nba>