Boston Celtics, NBA, NBA Playoffs

Jaylen Brown and the Celtics continue advocating for Brittney Griner’s release

Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown and his teammates sport “We Are BG” shirts during the NBA Finals, calling attention to her wrongful detainment in Russia. 

While practicing for Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown wore a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “We Are BG”. He later explained to media why he and other Celtics players wear activism on their sleeves.

“We felt like it was a good idea to use our availability and our platforms to bring attention to certain matters,” Brown said. “I always stand for that.”

The next day, he was photographed in an orange t-shirt that had “End Gun Violence” written across the chest.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 05: Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics warms up prior to playing the Golden State Warriors in Game Two of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 05, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

“Being an athlete, we’re not just up here to entertain you guys. We also have a voice.”

Brown and his Celtics teammates, along with Golden State Warriors players like Steph Curry, have centered the topic of Brittney Griner during the NBA Finals. With millions tuning in, basketball players are using their platforms to shed light on the wrongful detainment of Griner, who has been withheld in a Russian prison for 113 days.

Jaylen Brown and Celtics use NBA Finals platform to bring home Brittney Griner

There have been arguments made that if Brittney Griner, a WNBA and Olympic champion, was an NBA superstar instead, there would be more attention surrounding her case.

Warriors star Steph Curry admitted that “there’s something to that,” stressing that Griner’s detention is a “tragedy” and he wants to see her come home to her family safely.

In another press conference clip, Brown explains the decision to support Griner by sharing their empathy on their shirts.

“[The decision] came from the Players Association, led by Grant Williams,” Brown said. “As a collective, we wanted to come out and show our support for Brittney Griner. She’s been over there for an extended amount of time, and we feel like enough is enough.”

As important as it is to amplify Griner’s situation, American citizens have been somewhat limited in what they can effectively do to bring Brittney home as soon as possible. The Phoenix Mercury is set to meet with U.S. officials next week to discuss details of Griner’s detention, but the return is firmly in the hands of American foreign policy officials. The U.S. did just negotiate for the release of Trevor Reed in April, and even Reed said that Griner is in a worse position than he was because a “large portion of the population in Russia” is racist, noting that the Russian government “systematically discriminates” against the LGBTQ+ community.

Still, there is something that concerned citizens can do to increase pressure to bring Griner home. The Women’s National Basketball Player’s Association has created a petition calling for the swift return of Griner, which also urges concerned citizens to contact the White House.

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