Jul 07, 2022

New York, NY (Thursday, July 7, 2022) – Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), will be in Chicago this Friday with Cherelle Griner, wife of basketball star Brittney Griner, WNBA players, and WNBPA Executives ahead of the league’s All-Star Game to say, “We are BG.” The press conference will urge mercy and leniency be granted on Griner, who earlier today pleaded guilty to drug charges in a highly politicized trial in Russia. They will also call on other faith leaders to continue to pray for Griner as she faces up to 10 years in a penal colony.

“Brittney has admitted to making a mistake, and I hope the Russian authorities recognize that humbling act and respond with compassion,” said Rev. Al Sharpton. “She is in the fight of her life right now, which is why we’ll be in Chicago to show our support for Brittney and for the Administration and their efforts to bring her home as soon as possible. We must all continue to pray she finds strength through this challenging time.”

Earlier this week, Rev. Sharpton requested the Biden administration arrange a ministerial visit to Russia for him and other faith leaders to meet and pray over Griner. Her family has expressed concern for her wellbeing after more than four months in jail following her February arrest at a Moscow airport. In April, the U.S. State Department classified her as “wrongfully detained,” and because she is being used a political pawn, will negotiate for her release regardless of the legal case.

On Wednesday, the White House announced President Biden and Vice President Harris spoke to Cherelle. During the call, the White House said, Biden read a note to Cherelle that he planned to send Brittney in response to her handwritten plea for freedom. That note was delivered to Griner in court Thursday shortly before she pleaded guilty.


Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network

Cherelle Griner, wife of Brittney Griner

Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks power forward and President of the WNBA Players Association, alongside fellow WNBA players

WNBA Players Association Executive Director Terri Jackson and Union leadership


Hyatt Regency at McCormick Place

2233 S. Martin Luther King Dr, Chicago, IL 60616


Friday, July, 8, 2022 – 4:00 p.m. CST

About National Action Network (NAN) 

National Action Network is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency, and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality, or gender.

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