The White House didn’t want his help.
“They were telling us, ‘Don’t say anything,’” Curry said.
Curry, instead, spoke of Griner’s detainment while hosting this summer’s ESPY Awards and wore her jersey onstage.
Griner was sentenced in August to nine years in Russian prison and ordered to pay a $16,500 fine after being found guilty of drug possession and smuggling. Griner, 31, was detained on Feb. 17 for being in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil at a Russian airport. The U.S. has and continues to classify Griner as “wrongfully detained.”
The U.S. has been looking to organize a prisoner swap to bring Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan back into the states. Russia, in return, would receive Viktor Bout — also known as the “Merchant of Death.”
Steph Curry the Latest NBA Star Turned Down By White House to Help Organize Release of Brittney Griner
NBA legend Dennis Rodman said last month that he was planning a trip to Russia to help bring Griner home. Rodman, who has a good relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he got permission to go abroad to seek the release of Griner.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I’m trying to go this week,” Rodman said.
Rodman later backed out of the plan after the U.S. Government urged him to cancel his trip.
“We have seen through the media – and really only through the media – that Dennis Rodman has said he does intend to travel to Russia,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said, via Fox News. “I want to be clear: He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government.”