House passes resolution demanding Russia release Brittney Griner
The House of Representatives passed a resolution on Thursday calling for Russia to release WNBA star Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Moscow with the rest of her team after a fight with a rival team.
The Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky were in Russia for a game on Tuesday when a fight broke out between the two teams and their fans. Griner was one of 11 people detained.
The resolution, which passed by voice vote, calls on the Russian government to ensure the safety of the players and to release them as soon as possible. The resolution also condemns the attack on the players and calls on Russia to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice.
“This resolution sends a strong message to the Russian government that the United States will not tolerate the violence and intimidation of American citizens,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who introduced the resolution.
The White House also condemned the attack on the players and called for their release.
“The United States condemns the attack on the WNBA players and fans in Moscow,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest in a statement. “We call on the Russian government to provide security for the remaining games of the series and work with the WNBA and the players’ union to ensure the safety of the athletes.”