Boston Celtics wear shirts in support of Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner
Jun 4, 2022, 5:21 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm
The Boston Celtics showed support for Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner during practice on Saturday ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
Members of the Eastern Conference champions were wearing t-shirts that stated “WE ARE BG” across the front.
— NBA (@NBA) June 4, 2022
“It came from the player’s association led by Grant Williams,” Celtics’ Jaylen Brown told reporters.
“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 felt like enough is enough.”
Williams is the vice president of the National Basketball Players Association and told ESPN that the shirts were a collaboration between the NBPA and WNBPA.
“The shirts were super important not only 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,” Williams said. “She’s been a vital part of the WNBA over years past, college, and in the amount of impact she’s had on young female athletes, USA and overseas.
“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 added that the shirts were shipped overnight in order to arrive on Saturday and were even nicely ironed.
“Free B.G., man. We’re here. We’re here for her. We stand with her,” Celtics’ Marcus Smart said.
Celtics star Jayson Tatum also showed his support for Griner after the two spent quite a bit of time together during last summer’s Tokyo Olympics, as athletes were restricted from congregating due to COVID-19.
“Being over there with the Olympics, obviously it was during COVID and so we couldn’t really go out and see other events and things like that,” Tatum said. “So after the games, after practice, we would be in the hospitality room, men and women. We would be in there, playing cards, karaoke, things like that, video games. Great person to be around. She just lightens the entire room with her personality.
“So it’s extremely tough seeing what she’s going through. I know everybody sees and feels that, and obviously we’re all together in support trying to bring her back to her family and things like that. Yeah, wearing those shirts today in support of her.”
Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after airport authorities found vape cartridges that allegedly contained oil derived from cannabis, which holds a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Her status was also changed to “wrongfully detained” by U.S. officials and she has been able to respond to emails from other WNBA players while in prison.