Brittney Griner's Team Holds Moment of Silence After Her Sentencing

A 42-second moment of silence was held for Brittney Griner on August 4 as her Phoenix Mercury teammates readied to play the Connecticut Sun on the day she was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison.

Griner wears the No 42 jersey for the Mercury, who were the visiting team that night.

A Russian court sentenced the player to nine years and six months in prison for drug smuggling and possession on August 4, Russian state media reported.

Griner, 31, an eight-time WNBA All-Star, was detained by the Russian Customs Service in February after arriving from New York at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. Russian authorities said Griner was in possession of vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement: “I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates,” adding that her detainment was “unacceptable.”

This footage shows the announcement of the 42-second moment of silence before it is cut short by calls of “BG” and “bring her home.” Credit: Elanna Rubenstein / @RubensteinESPN via Storyful

Video transcript

- To recognize the gravity of the moment and collectively send her strength, we're inspired every day by BG's strength and we are steadfastly committed to keeping her top of mind publicly until she is safely back on American soil. We invite all of you here tonight to stand and link arms in solidarity with us. Bringing Brittney and all other detainees home is the sole objective. We are and will remain focused and unified in bringing them home safely. Please join us for a 42-second moment of solidarity.

- BG!

- BG!

- BG!

[INTERPOSING VOICES]

- Bring her home!

- Bring her home!

- Bring her home!

[ALL CHANTING "BRING HER HOME"]

- Thank you.

[APPLAUSE]

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