Megan Rapinoe honors Brittney Griner with embroidered ‘BG’ on suit at Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony
Megan Rapinoe honored Brittney Griner at the White House Thursday as Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Biden.
Griner pleaded guilty to bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport. She could face up to 10 years in prison.
Rapinoe had Griner on her mind as she received the medal. The American soccer star had “BG” embroidered on her lapel. Rapinoe also offered her thoughts on Griner’s guilty plea as the news broke.
President Biden shakes hands with Megan Rapinoe before presenting the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to the soccer star and Olympic gold medalist during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington Thursday, July 7, 2022.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“BG is being used as a political pawn and we need to bring her home immediately. This plea doesn’t change that @potus needs to and is working hard to get her home,” Rapinoe wrote on her Instagram stories. “From what I understand she had to plea to keep the process of getting her home asap in motion. BG we are with you.”
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The 31-year-old WNBA superstar was arrested in February as she was entering the country to play for her Russian basketball team.
President Biden awards the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to Megan Rapinoe at the White House Thursday, July 7, 2022.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Griner was arrested and has been classified by the U.S. State Department as a “wrongful detainee.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that notion in a tweet.
.@USEmbRu officials again attended Brittney Griner’s trial today and delivered to her a letter from President Biden. We will not relent until Brittney, Paul Whelan, and all other wrongfully detained Americans are reunited with their loved ones,” Blinken wrote.
BIDEN REASSURES BRITTNEY GRINER’S WIFE US IS WORKING TO SECURE HER RELEASE FROM RUSSIA ‘AS SOON AS POSSIBLE’
A letter from Griner to Biden was delivered earlier in the week.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” the WNBA superstar wrote.
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 7, 2022.
(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
Griner pleaded with Biden to use his presidential powers to bring her home.
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“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” the letter stated. “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.