On Wednesday night, U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe shared a message about imprisoned WNBA star Brittney Griner. While accepting the award for Best Play at the ESPYS, Rapinoe took a moment to address Griner’s ongoing detainment in Russia, and social media had plenty to say afterwards.
Brittney Griner has been in custody in Russia since February 17th and is still facing upwards of 10 years in prison. Russian authorities arrested the Phoenix Mercury star at Sheremetyevo airport after discovering vape cartridges in her luggage that contained a small amount of hashish oil.
As a show of support for Griner, Rapinoe chose to use her time on the microphone to speak out and ask for the basketball player’s release. She called Griner a “political prisoner” and asked everyone at the ESPYs to use their platform to apply pressure on Russia.
“BG deserves to be free. She’s being held as a political prisoner, obviously,” Rapinoe said. “Every time we see her face, every time we say her name … it puts pressure on everybody. It puts pressure on the administration, it puts pressure on Russia, it puts pressure on Putin. It lets BG know we love her, and that we miss her and that we’re thinking about her all the time. We’re doing every single thing we can to get her out. That’s honestly the most important thing.”
“We haven’t done enough. None of us,” Rapinoe added. “We can do more, we can support her more and just let her know that we love her so much.”
Social Media Reacts to Megan Rapinoe’s ESPYS Speech About Brittney Griner
Of course, as is the case with all social media reactions, opinions were divided over Rapinoe’s comments. Some agreed that Brittney Griner should be released immediately while others had harsher judgments.
“She broke the law and has to pay the price. Get over it,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Don’t do illegal things in other countries and you won’t get arrested,” a second Twitter user said.
“Break the law, and do the time. It’s really not a hard concept. Rapinoe is a joke, and so is everyone else screaming for her to be free. #ESPYS2022 #ESPYAwards #USA,” another person tweeted.
Some Twitter users fell in between on the discussion. They may not care for Brittney Griner in general. However, as an American, they still want her brought home.
“I don’t love her or, miss her,” one social media user commented. “However, we should try to get Americans held by hostile countries back home.”
In contrast, there’s also plenty of people that agreed with Megan Rapinoe’s sentiments. Tons of Americans want to see Brittney Griner return home to the U.S. and think her punishment is far too harsh.
“Why do people have a problem with Americans fighting for other Americans to be released from a country were currently in a conflict with? It baffles me,” one Twitter user said.
“The fact that this story isn’t in the media every day blows my mind. Bring Brittney home,” someone tweeted.
“Hoping Brittney Griner is freed very soon and able to come home to her family and friends,” another wrote on Twitter.