US football star Megan Rapinoe honoured beloved basketball player Brittney Griner during her recent presidential medal ceremony.
Over the last few months, Griner has been detained in Russia after she was accused of carrying hashish oil in her luggage.
Since her arrest, her lawyers and representatives have worked tirelessly on getting the acclaimed basketball player back to the United States.
Alongside her dedicated legal counsel, Griner has also received support from fans, activists and an array of high-profile athletes, including Rapinoe.
On 7 July, the Olympic athlete received the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony at The White House.
During the landmark event, the World Cup champion used her platform to showcase support for Griner by wearing a suit with her initials embroidered.
Taking to her Instagram Story, the beloved footballer uploaded a photo of her outfit with the caption: “The most important part of today. BG, We love you.”
Rapinoe’s gracious gesture came hours after Griner pleaded guilty during her second trial hearing.
“I’d like to plead guilty, your honour. But there was no intent. I didn’t want to break the law,” the Phoenix Mercury player told the court. “I’d like to give my testimony later. I need time to prepare.”
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Shortly after the news broke, Rapinoe showed her support for the US basketball star and urged President Joe Biden to bring Griner home.
“BG is being used as a political pawn, and we need to bring her home immediately,” she wrote via her Instagram Story.
“This plea doesn’t change that @potus needs to and is working hard to get her home. From what I understand, she had to plea to keep the process of getting her home asap in motion. BG we are with you.”
In a recent interview with Reuters, Griner’s lawyer Maria Blagovolina revealed their hope that a guilty plea would earn a lenient sentence.
“We as her defence explained to her the possible consequences. Brittney stressed that she committed the crime out of carelessness, getting ready to board a plane to Russia in a hurry, not intending to break Russian law,” Maria Blagovolina explained.
“We certainly hope this circumstance, in combination with the defence evidence, will be taken into account when passing the sentence, and it will be mild.”
Griner’s lawyers also added that, at the time of her arrest, she was tested and was clean of drugs – which they hope will also be taken into account.
Currently, the 31-year-old is facing up to 10 years in prison for the aforementioned charges.