HOUSTON — It was a public plea for the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee organized the rally and prayer vigil held in Griner’s hometown of Houston on Monday evening.
“We are not gonna back down, because we want Brittney to come home,” Lee said.
It’s been more than 100 days since the world-renowned Olympian was arrested and detained in Russia. Her arrest came after officials allegedly found cannabis in her luggage.
U.S. officials have declared Griner as wrongfully detained.
Trevor Reed and his family traveled to Houston for the rally on Monday. His mother, Paula Reed, said it was important for Trevor to be there despite only being home for six weeks.
Trevor was released from Russian prison as part of a prisoner swap in April.
“We need to all speak out for these Americans, because every single one of us is an American,” Trevor said. “Every day that you’re in prison there, it’s like you’re waking up to a nightmare. There is no justice in Russia. Brittney and Paul [Whelan] will not receive justice in Russia... they will not receive a fair trial in Russia.”
Trevor said Griner and Whelan won’t find true justice “until the United States gets them out.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also spoke at the rally. He talked about the contributions Griner has made to her hometown through the years.
Members of Nimitz High School girls’ basketball team were at the rally. They said they’ve had the chance to meet Griner and have grown while admiring the WNBA star that attended their high school.
“This is someone who literally has given everything to this city, state, and country,” Turner said. “Bring Brittney home and bring her home now.”
Griner’s detention was extended through June 18, 2022. Those who rallied on Monday said they hope their public plea will be heard across the world.