PHOENIX MERCURY

Suns’ Monty Williams: ‘It is time for (Brittney Griner) to come home’

Jun 23, 2022, 1:25 PM
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) shoots during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA bask...

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) shoots during the first half of Game 1 of the WNBA basketball Finals against the Chicago Sky, on Oct. 10, 2021, in Phoenix. The Biden administration has determined that Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia, meaning the United States will more aggressively work to secure her release even as the legal case against her plays out, two U.S. officials said Tuesday, May 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

There has been a flood of support for Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner ever since it was discovered she was detained in a Russian prison back in February.

On Thursday, Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams urged those to continue to keep pushing for her safe return home.

“We are on Day 126 since Brittney Griner has been wrongfully detained. I’ll say that again, 126 days,” Williams said. “Me, my family, my staff we pray for Brittney a lot.

“We have to keep her at the forefront, not the topic but Brittney, to press those in power with influence so that we can bring Brittney home.”

Williams’ remarks come after Griner was named as a honorary WNBA All-Star Game starter on Wednesday.

Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 after authorities at an airport outside of Moscow said she had vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her bag.

The State Department in May designated Griner as wrongfully detained, moving her case under the supervision of its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who is effectively the government’s chief hostage negotiator.

Russian state-run news agency Tass reported last week that Griner’s detention was extended until at least July 2. Another American, Paul Whelan, has been held in Russia since December 2018 on espionage charges he and the U.S. government say are false.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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