Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday in support of his resolution demanding Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner’s release from her wrongful detainment in Russia. The House passed the resolution yesterday.
“Not a day goes by that we aren’t thinking of Brittney and working to get her home,” Stanton said in a press release. “We will continue to push for her release and make sure that she is not forgotten.”
Stanton’s release also included a statement from Griner’s wife Cherelle.
“I’m grateful for this overwhelming show of support from Congress. We need to be doing all we can to keep Brittney’s case on the forefront and finally put an end to this nightmare.”
Stanton and Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Colin Allred (D-Texas) introduced the resolution last month. Griner is from Houston, Texas, and attended Baylor University in Waco.
The text of the resolution:
H. Res. 1132
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,
June 24, 2022.
Whereas United States citizen Brittney Griner is a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player;
Whereas Brittney Griner and her wife, Cherelle, are residents of Phoenix, Arizona, and are well-respected leaders in the community;
Whereas Brittney Griner was raised in Houston, Texas, and many of her family members live in Texas;
Whereas after a prolific collegiate career at her alma mater, Baylor University, Brittney Griner was the first overall pick in the 2013 WNBA by the Phoenix Mercury and has played her entire WNBA career with the team;
Whereas during her WNBA career, Brittney Griner has been named the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year twice and a WNBA All-Star seven times;
Whereas Brittney Griner has represented the United States on the women’s basketball team twice and earned two Olympic Gold Medals;
Whereas Brittney Griner is also an international figure and has played for the Russian women’s professional basketball team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, for the past seven years during the WNBA off-season;
Whereas Brittney Griner is a renowned leader in the LGBTQ+ community;
Whereas Brittney Griner has made a difference in the lives of many Arizonans, including through her annual “BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive” to provide shoes to those experiencing homelessness in the Phoenix community;
Whereas Brittney Griner’s efforts have provided shoes to nearly 2,000 Phoenix-area residents in need;
Whereas the Phoenix Mercury and the Phoenix Rescue Mission are continuing this important effort in Brittney Griner’s absence;
Whereas Brittney Griner was presumably detained by Russian authorities at Sheremetyevo Alexander S. Pushkin International Airport in Khimki, Russia, on February 17, 2022, accused of carrying vape cartridges with hashish oil;
Whereas Russian authorities opened a criminal case against Brittney Griner regarding the alleged transportation of drugs, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years;
Whereas, on March 17, 2022, a Russian court denied a request for bail and for house arrest, and has since extended Brittney Griner’s detention until June 18, 2022; and
Whereas the Department of State has determined that Brittney Griner is “wrongfully detained”: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) calls on the Government of the Russian Federation to immediately release Brittney Griner;
(2) urges the United States, in all interactions with the Government of the Russian Federation, to raise the case of Brittney Griner and to press for her release;
(3) expresses continued support for Paul Whelan and all prisoners unjustly imprisoned in the Russian Federation;
(4) urges the Government of the Russian Federation to provide consular access to Brittney Griner while she remains in detention;
(5) urges the Government of the Russian Federation to respect the human rights of Brittney Griner; and
(6) expresses support to the family of Brittney Griner and a commitment to bringing her home.
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