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Brittney Griner was arrested at the White House in honor of soccer star Rapinoe

#Brittney #Griner #arrested #White #House #honor #soccer #star #Rapinoe

US soccer icon Megan Rapinoe quietly paid tribute to another sports star — basketball player Brittney Griner, who is incarcerated in Russia — during an awards ceremony at the White House on Thursday.

When she and several others received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, Rapinoe wore a white pantsuit with the initials “BG” and a flower on the lapel.

Griner, who has been jailed in Russia since February, pleaded guilty Thursday to drug smuggling in a count that has further fueled tensions between Moscow and Washington.

The two-time Olympic and WNBA champion, who was jailed days before troops were sent to Ukraine, faces up to a decade behind bars for bringing vape cartridges containing cannabis oil into the country, but insists she has no intention had to break the law.

US President Joe Biden “will do everything possible to make sure she gets home safely,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to the basketball star’s family’s criticism of the government’s involvement.

In addition to Rapinoe, who led the US women’s national soccer team to victory at the 2019 World Cup and campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights, Biden also recalled gymnastics champion Simone Biles, who shed a light on the mental health issues.

Other honorees included former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the nurse who became the first person in the United States to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, as well as posthumous awards for Apple founder Steve Jobs and Republican Senator and war hero John McCain.

“This is America,” Biden said of the esteemed group.

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#Brittney #Griner #arrested #White #House #honor #soccer #star #Rapinoe

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