One of their fellow elite athletes, Brittney Griner, has been detained in Russia for over 100 days, and several Celtics players are using their platform to shed light on what America sees as a wrongful arrest and imprisonment. Boston’s team rocked black t-shirts that read “We Are BG” in huge orange font across the front at practice prior to Game 2.
Jayson Tatum was one of the players that rocked the t-shirts in honor of Griner, whose been imprisoned since February.
“It’s extremely tough seeing what she’s going through,” Tatum told ESPN. “I know everybody sees and feels that, and obviously we’re all together in support trying to bring her back to her family and things like that. Yeah, wearing those shirts today in support of her.”
The shirts also featured a QR code across the back that linked to an online change.org petition seeking 300,000 signatures to bring more attention to the case and get Griner back home as quickly as possible with the help of the White House and President Biden. The petition currently has upwards of 250,000 signatures and sheds light on the pay inequality many WNBA players face, which forces them to play overseas during the offseason. If Griner had been paid adequately in the WNBA, she might have never been put in the predicament of traveling to Russia.
Celtics player Grant Williams is a vice president within the National Basketball Players Association and says the shirts are a collab between the NBPA and WNBPA in support of the 31-year-old Olympian.
“They sent them overnight to get them here for today,” Williams said. “They did a phenomenal job, and want to credit them to make that process happen. We just wanted to do that as a team. It was one of those things where no one questioned it. Everyone said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Everyone put the shirt on immediately when we got them, fresh off the box. They were ironed and good to go. So we wanted to show that love and support.”