‘FREE BRITNEY GRINER’ shirts worn by Macy Gray’s band not allowed on NBC’s ‘Today’ during performance
During a Thursday live music performance, NBC’s “Today” show allegedly told the keyboardist and other members of Macy Gray’s band to not wear their “FREE BRITNEY GRINER” T-shirts while on set.
Billy Wes, the keyboardist for the Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter told reporters on Thursday that he was told by “Today” staff that he had to turn his T-shirt “inside out” to hide the words “FREE BRITNEY GRINER” during the music group’s performance.
The band had intended on making a political statement in support of Griner, the Olympic gold medalist and WNBA star who has been detained in Russia since February after being accused by Russian authorities of smuggling drugs into Moscow airport.
Griner allegedly traveled with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil. On Thursday, Griner pled guilty to having the substances while traveling, though she claimed she “didn’t want to break the law.”
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On Thursday, WNBA star Brittney Griner pled guilty to smuggling vape cartridges containing cannabis oil through Moscow airport.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)
The White House confirmed on Wednesday that President Joe Biden is “actively working to secure Brittney’s release as soon as possible.”
After “Today” aired Thursday morning, a TMZ reporter found Wes and asked, “So what happened to your ‘FREE BRITNEY GRINER’ shirt?”
Wes responded, “Well they made me turn it inside out. They said I couldn’t wear it, so I had to turn it inside out.” He gave a shout-out to Griner before leaving, saying, “But y’all know what time it is: Free Brittney!”
Reporters caught up with singer Macy Gray after the performance as well. When asked about how she felt about the T-shirt being obscured, Gray stated, “I’m just praying for her. That really bummed me out today. That really made me sad.”
The reporter followed up by asking whether the artist felt as though former President Donald Trump could have secured Griner’s release if he was still in office. Gray sidestepped the political question, simply responding, “I just hope they do something about it.”
The Biden administration has indicated it is doing all it can to bring Griner home from Russian detention.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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“I hope Biden steps up and brings her home cause that’s really heartbreaking.” Gray denied having any recent contact with Griner or her WNBA teammates.
The singer revealed to the TMZ reporter that she and other band members were planning on wearing the “FREE BRITNEY GRINER” shirts as well. She said, “Yeah, we wanted to wear ‘em on the show then they said ‘no,’ ’cause I guess something happened.”
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When asked whether she thought it was due to political reasons, Gray said, “I don’t think it’s political, I think it’s a human being that’s in a really horrible situation and there’s people that have power to do something about it. That’s what they should do, you know?”
Fox Digital reached out to “Today” for comment on the story, though they’ve yet to respond.
Gray said that what has happened to Griner is a "horrible situation."