New York, NY (Tuesday, October 25, 2022) – Rev. Al Sharpton, Founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), today once again urged the Russian government to show mercy upon Brittney Griner after an appeals court on Tuesday upheld the WNBA superstar’s sentence on drug charges.

“What else must Brittney Griner do to show she has suffered enough? She has told every judge, official, and citizen that she regrets her mistake. Even by Russian standards, this was a harsh sentence that did not match the crime. Brittney has spent nearly a year behind bars for it, without seeing her wife, her family, or her teammates. Now she must go through that experience another nine times – thousands of miles away from her home. I am deeply concerned for Brittney’s spiritual and mental wellbeing as she stares down almost a decade in a penal colony. I once again call on the Russian government to realize that Brittney has paid her debt. They have an opportunity to show compassion by sending her home, where she belongs, and I pray they will do the right thing.”  

Last week, Sharpton was part of a nationwide campaign to support Griner as the Phoenix Mercury center turned 32. He urged Griner to remain strong through the challenging times ahead, noting that he and other faith leaders continued to pray for her.