Stephen Curry Thanks Brittney Griner for Her Sacrifice After Release from Russia

Adam WellsDecember 9, 2022

US' Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) basketball player Brittney Griner, who was detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and later charged with illegal possession of cannabis, arrives to a hearing at the Khimki Court, outside Moscow on August 4, 2022. - Lawyers for US basketball star Brittney Griner, who is standing trial in Russia on drug charges, said on July 26, 2022 they hoped she would receive a "lenient" sentence. (Photo by Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP) (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

On the night he was honored as Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year, Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry used his platform to pay tribute to Brittney Griner as she makes her way back to the United States.

Curry opened his speech at the ceremony with thoughts on Griner:

Sports Illustrated @SInow

Stephen Curry (<a href="https://twitter.com/StephenCurry30?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StephenCurry30</a>) opened his speech at the 2022 SI Sportsperson of the Year Awards by expressing his thoughts on Brittney Griner's return home:<br><br>"We are glad she's home, we're glad she's reunited with her family." <a href="https://t.co/FtAly07gB4">https://t.co/FtAly07gB4</a> <a href="https://t.co/GpgbO785py">pic.twitter.com/GpgbO785py</a>

President Joe Biden announced on Thursday morning Griner was on her way back to the United States after Russia agreed to a prisoner swap

Griner was arrested in Russia on a drug charge in February. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in August after pleading guilty in an attempt to accelerate the process for a potential exchange of prisoners.

Athletes from all sports used their platform to speak out for Griner to keep her name at the front of people's minds and potentially help speed the process of getting her home.

After Biden's announcement that Griner was on her way back to the U.S., there was an outpouring of support for the Phoenix Mercury star from her fellow WNBA players:

Phoenix Mercury @PhoenixMercury

No more days. She's coming home ๐Ÿงก <a href="https://t.co/HsjbdPfdn5">pic.twitter.com/HsjbdPfdn5</a>

Breanna Stewart @breannastewart

BG is FREE!!! 294 days and she is coming home!!! ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿค๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ

A'ja Wilson @_ajawilson22

BG ๐Ÿฅน๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ God is so good

A United States official told CNN that Griner is expected to land in San Antonio, Texas. She is expected to be back in the country at some point on Friday.