Kim Kardashian posts ‘Free Brittney Griner’ as WNBA star’s monthslong detainment in Russia continues
- Kardashian, 41, took to Instagram to share message with 322M followers
- Griner, 31, was arrested in Russia February 17 in connection with cannabis oil possession charges
- She is currently on trial in Russia, where less than one percent of defendants in criminal cases receive acquittals
- The WNBA standout faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison
- Griner and her family have pressed White House to broker a deal for her release
- Kardashian has past used her massive platform to bring attention to a number of social issues she holds important
Kim Kardashian took to Instagram Stories on Tuesday in support of freeing Brittney Griner, the WNBA standout who has been in custody in Russia for more than four months in what federal authorities call a wrongful detainment.
The 41-year-old celebrity reposted a post comic Amy Schumer, 41, put up last week accompanied by a shot of Griner, 31, appearing in a Russian court. Schumer captioned the shot: ‘Let’s go everybody. This is not okay. #freebrittneygriner now. All hands on deck. Make some noise.’
In addition to Kardashian, the post from Schumer received supportive sentiments from actress Anneliese van der Pol, 37, and reality star Lisa Rinna, 58.
The latest: Kim Kardashian, 41, took to Instagram Stories on Tuesday in support of Brittney Griner, 31, the WNBA standout who has been in custody in Russia for more than four months in what federal authorities call a wrongful detainment
Kardashian shared the post with her 322 million Instagram followers amid news that President Joe Biden had read a handwritten letter from Griner in which she said she was fearful of not returning to the U.S. and urged him to note ‘forget about [her] and the other American Detainees,’ the AP reported.
In the letter, provided by Griner’s reps, the Phoenix Mercury star wrote, ‘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.
‘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’s wife Cherelle said on CBS Mornings Tuesday that she’s disheartened after not hearing anything back from the president after he read the letter.
Kardashian, pictured last month, has past used her massive platform to bring attention to a number of social issues she holds important
A handcuffed Griner was seen being escorted into a court hearing near Moscow on June 27
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed Tuesday that the president had read the letter, and that the issue ‘is very personal to him,’ as he is striving to bring home the basketball star as well as other Americans officials say are wrongfully detained in Russia.
‘We are going to use every tool we possibly can to make that happen,’ the press secretary said.
Griner was initially arrested in Russia on February 17 in connection with cannabis oil possession charges, while she was there to play basketball.
She is currently on trial in Russia, where less than one percent of defendants in criminal cases receive acquittals, which can be overturned after the fact, according to the AP. Griner faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison in connection with the charges.
The WNBA star was seen July 1 as she was being escorted into her trial
Fans held signs in support of Griner during a WNBA game Monday at LA’s Crypto.com Arena during a game between Griner’s Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks
In her appearance in court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki, NPR reported, Griner was not asked if she was guilty or innocent of the charges.
Supporters of the basketball star have suggested the U.S. swap a Russian prisoner for Griner, who the State Department said in May was wrongfully detained.
Kardashian has past used her massive platform to bring attention to a number of social issues she holds important: She has focused on criminal justice reform in recent years, as she worked with federal authorities on the prison release of Alice Marie Johnson, who was pardoned from a life sentence in 2018 stemming from a 1996 conviction on nonviolent drug charges.
Last year, she commandeered efforts to prevent the execution of Oklahoma inmate Julius Jones; and reduce the sentencing of Colorado inmate Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, both of whom were involved in high-profile cases.
Kardashian has focused on criminal justice reform in recent years, commenting publicly on a number of high-profile cases