On Wednesday people celebrated the release of Texas Marine veteran Trevor Reed but at the same time social media drew attention to the fact that Brittney Griner is still detained in Russia.
They are calling for the U.S Government to do more!
According to WFAA People want officials to continue pushing for the release of WNBA player Brittney Griner, former Marine Paul Whelan and any other Americans being detained in Russia.
“Our objective is to bring all Americans who are detained, who are held, who are away from their families home from overseas,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday.
She said President Biden and the State Department will continue to do everything they can to bring all Americans home.
“When I opened my phone this morning, and I saw that Trevor was being released, I was overjoyed. But my first thought went to Brittney, and is this something that could be a path for her?” said Nancy Lieberman, a basketball legend and philanthropist.
Lieberman considers Griner a friend. She is among those who’ve been speaking out, asking for Griner’s release and return home to the U.S.
“Putin is so erratic, at this point, that you just don’t know what he is going to do,” Lieberman said.
Griner, a Houston native, is accused of having cannabis vape cartridges in her luggage. Her arrest and detention in Russia was extended to a hearing in mid-May.
That move came as the U.S. and other countries continues speaking out on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
“For something like vaping cartridges? I think that’s kind of miniscule. I don’t think that she should be detained for something like that,” said WNBA fan Curtis Moss.
Some sports fans hope a prisoner swap, like the U.S. government was able to negotiate for Reed’s release, could also be a pathway for Griner’s return home.
Moss is among those who said they hope the female basketball star is being used as a political pawn.
“If she was in the NBA, she’d be out by now,” Moss said.
“I just want her to be healthy. I want her to be happy. Everybody just wants her to be back here with her family in the United States,” Lieberman added.
Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for two months. Trevor Reed has been in actual prison there for two years. Not everything is fodder for your twitter whining about unfairness.
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) April 27, 2022
This is great.
Now bring home Brittney Griner. https://t.co/sA9mwxN4Uc
— Max Grossfeld (@MaxGrossfeld) April 27, 2022
There’s no way that any NBA player would have to endure what Brittney Griner is dealing with in Russia.
This country has failed her.
— The Comeout Coach (@eriseady) April 23, 2022
“Brittney Griner is an incredible athlete, one of women’s basketball’s superstars, perhaps the greatest of all time,” says journalist @mayags. So why has the public reaction to her arrest in Russia been so muted? pic.twitter.com/NCaz1Uk0kg
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) April 28, 2022
Why Was Brittney Griner in Russia In the first place
Brittney Griner’s agent penned an essay for the LA Times titled: Why Brittney Griner was in Russia, and what it says about women’s sports in the U.S. explaining why she was in Russia in the first place, drawing attention to the gross disparities in income for women in sports in comparison to men.
The reality is that more than half of the women in the WNBA currently supplement their incomes by playing for professional clubs overseas from the end of the WNBA season to the start of the next.
To date, the largest contracts paid to women basketball players have come from Russian and Turkish clubs.
Top athletes can make six to seven times the maximum WNBA salary overseas — and the disparity as recently as 2019 was 10 to 15 times more than WNBA salaries.
Then you factor in endorsements, with a first-round NBA draft pick securing an average of 10 times more than women of the same caliber via shoe contracts.
That’s about $500,000 to $1 million of lost revenue per year the women are going overseas to make up.
Most of the players who choose to play overseas get only a week or two off between the end of one season and of the start of their next.
In fact, the EGOT of women’s basketball has been to capture NCAA, WNBA, Olympic and Euroleague titles.
It’s no secret that women in professional sports are paid a lot less than men. There is no magic WNBA commissioner wand that will allow Cathy Engelbert
to immediately pay players higher salaries — and demanding that the Women’s National Basketball Players Association negotiate a larger percentage of revenue for players won’t make much of a difference without more revenue growth.
And yet the same system that rendered a woman who is a generational talent nearly invisible until she was detained in Russia offers a rich ecosystem of income opportunities that are almost exclusively available for men.
The WNBA season starts next week and Brittney Griner doesn’t get to be there.
So fucking sad. I hope she gets to come home soon.
— meredith minkow (@murrminks) April 27, 2022
Brittney’s wife reacted to the release of Trevor Reed, sending him and his family love, acknowledging how painful it is to have a love one detained abroad.
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