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Powerful image of Brittney Griner during Russian court hearing goes viral

Brittney Griner smiles

Mar 12, 2017; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner in attendance of the Phoenix Suns game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brittney Griner on Friday had another court appearance in Russia after being arrested on drug charges in February, and an image captured from the event went viral on social media.

ESPN’s Alexa Philippou tweeted the powerful photo that was taken by Russian photographer Natalia Kolesnikova of Agence France-Presse (AFP) during the hearing. The photo showed Griner holding a photo of WNBA players wearing Griner’s jersey number during the second half of last weekend’s All-Star game.

One of the notable players in the photo was Diana Taurasi, arguably the best WNBA player of all-time and one of Griner’s Phoenix Mercury teammates.

Griner pled guilty last week to drug charges, but told the court that she did not intentionally break the law. The 31-year-old’s guilty plea was reportedly a strategy to help get Griner back to the United States.

Griner has gotten plenty of support from the NBA community as well. The Boston Celtics wore T-shirts before an NBA Finals game to bring awareness to Griner’s detainment. So did Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul before a playoff game.

One notable NBA player, however, had to backtrack on his claim that Griner might be better off in Russia than she would be back in the United States.


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