PHOENIX — Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, who is now reportedly considered "wrongfully deteined," will be honored on all WNBA courts this season as she remains in custody in Russia.
The WNBA said Tuesday it plans to have Griner’s initials and jersey number placed on the sideline of all 12 courts during the 2022 season, which begins May 6.
Every WNBA market will also be supporting Griner’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive, which she founded in 2016 to help those experiencing homelessness.
The Mercury has also been granted roster and salary cap relief so it can have a replacement player until Griner can play again, the WNBA says.
Griner will also be paid her full salary.
“While we await her return, our main concern remains for her safety and well-being,” said Jim Pitman, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Phoenix Mercury, in a press release. Our fans will miss her impact on the court and in our community, and this gesture of including her initials on every court and our BG’s Heart and Sole Shoe Drive activation in every market are for them and for her.”
Griner was detained in mid-February when she was allegedly caught traveling from Russia with vape cartridges with cannabis oil.
According to ESPN, sources say U.S. officials now consider Griner as being “wrongfully detained.” This means they could be moving to negotiate her return.
Calls to bring Griner home were renewed after the White House swapped prisoners with Russia to bring back Marine veteran Trevor Reed.