Almost everyone in the WNBA speaks out and defends imprisoned Phoenix Mercury star Britney Griner, and Becky Hammon is no exception.
In a recent interview with Reuters, the Las Vegas Aces head coach urged the Russian government to “do the right thing.” She asked for “leniency” and “mercy” in the hope that Griner could be returned to the United States.
“Obviously, this is very close to me, and so I’m just asking the Russian government to do the right thing,” Hammon said. “It’s never too late to do the right thing. We ask for leniency. We ask for mercy. And we ask you to bring BG home.”
Hammon also suggested that a prison sentence for Griner could have “bad consequences” for the rest of the international sports world. She believes there are ways to put pressure on Russia before it faces even more ostracism.
“If (Greiner) had to serve a (prison) sentence, I think it would have had bad consequences internationally for the sporting world,” Hammon said. “There are certain ways to put pressure on Russia. I hope it doesn’t come to that.”
Russia is already facing massive global pressure due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Sanctions against them have also leaked into the sports world, as they have been banned in many major sports organizations, including FIFA and Formula 1.
It can be argued that Russia is behaving petty, putting Griner in prison against the background of current sanctions. But the fact remains that they have the right to do so.
We can only hope that the diplomats will get her out quickly.