Russia summons US as Stephen Curry in Brittney Griner case, others communicate at ESPYs

Russia is talking out in opposition to the US in Brittney Griner’s case, simply sooner or later after the Phoenix Mercury star headlined the ESPYs.

Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned Thursday that the USA’ classification of Griner as “improperly detained” exhibits blatant disrespect for Russian regulation. Though marijuana is authorized in numerous states, based on Zakharova, it doesn’t matter in Russia.

“If a US citizen was arrested for transporting medication, and he doesn’t deny it, then it needs to be in accordance with our Russian native legal guidelines, and never with the legal guidelines adopted in San Francisco, New York and Washington,” Zakharova mentioned by way of the Related Press.

Griner was first detained in February after officers mentioned they discovered hash oil cartridges in his baggage at a Moscow airport. He has since been in custody in Russia and faces as much as 10 years in jail. His trial continues subsequent week.

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Griner has pleaded responsible to the cost, though the technique was broadly anticipated. He admitted to having the vape cartridges in court docket however mentioned he had no intention of breaking the regulation.

The US authorities has declared Griner a “wrongfully detained” citizen, and former New Mexico Governor Invoice Richardson is reportedly working to safe his launch. There are stories that Russia is prepared to trade Griner for convicted arms supplier Viktor Bout.

Stephen Curry, Megan Rapinoe, Skylar Diggins-Smith and others referred to as for Brittney Griner’s launch all through the ESPYs on Wednesday night time. (The Washington Put up/Getty Photographs)

Stephen Curry and others are calling for Brittney Griner’s launch on the ESPYs

Simply hours earlier than Zakharova spoke, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry joined many others within the sports activities world in calling for Griner’s launch on the ESPYs.

Curry hosted ESPN’s annual awards present on the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday night time.

“However we’re hoping for the perfect, we’re calling on your complete world sports activities group to maintain up the vitality on his behalf,” Curry mentioned. “Brittney’s not only a member of the Phoenix Mercury. She’s not only a member of her Russian staff. She’s not simply an Olympic champion. She’s one in every of us, a staff of athletes on this room tonight and around the globe. A staff that has nothing to do with politics or with world conflicts.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith was one in every of a number of WNBA gamers to talk throughout the present.

“It has now been 153 nights that BG has been illegally detained 1000’s of miles from residence, away from his household, away from his associates, away from his staff,” Diggins-Smith mentioned. “All through this time, we have saved him in our ideas and hearts, though we all know it will not be sufficient to deliver him residence.”

USWNT star Megan Rapinoe, who gained the ESPY for Finest Efficiency, additionally spoke.

“I truthfully suppose what we witnessed tonight is the significance of sports activities and the way a lot we will deliver and the way a lot we will do on the planet simply by our collective energy,” Rapinoe mentioned. “I feel essentially the most putting factor for me is that BG just isn’t right here … Each time we are saying his title, each time it is on social media, each time we are saying it in interviews, it places strain on everyone. It is placing strain on the administration, it is placing strain on Russia, it is placing strain on Putin, it is placing strain on everyone.

“Most of all, it lets BG know that we love him and miss him and take into consideration him on a regular basis. We’ll do every part we will to get him out as a result of that is an important factor.

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