WNBPA joins petition calling on U.S. officials to bring Brittney Griner home

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The sports community is taking action to push for WNBA star Brittney Griner’s safe return to the United States.

Griner has been held in Russia since February, when she was arrested for allegedly carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil. She recently was classified by U.S. officials as being wrongfully detained.

A Change.org petition has been created to secure Griner’s return to the U.S., with the WNBA Players Association joining the appeal originally created by journalist and author Tamryn Spruill.

The NBA Players Association backed the cause as well, sharing the petition on its social media account.

South Carolina and former Team USA coach Dawn Staley also has been vocal about Griner’s case. She tweeted at major American television networks on Friday.

“I’m issuing a network challenge (#networkchallenge) to create space on air and ticker each day until [Brittney Griner] is back,” wrote Staley, tagging ESPN, ABC, NBC News, MSNBC, CNN and CBS.

WNBA star Breanna Stewart has been tracking the days since Griner’s detainment on her own Twitter account, tagging the White House in her daily posts.

The USWNT Players Association showed their support for Griner, calling on President Biden to bring the basketball star home.

“We know that pay inequity has led to Brittney Griner’s wrongful detention in Russia. As a decorated Olympian & member of an elite global sport community, her detention must be resolved out of respect for the safety of all athletes traveling to compete internationally,” the Players Association posted.

As of Monday morning, the Change.org petition has 134,243 signatures.

On Friday, Griner’s lawyer announced that the WNBA star’s pretrial detention had been extended by one month.

Griner’s case is currently under the purview of the U.S. State Department’s special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who is responsible for negotiating the release of Americans deemed wrongfully detained.