Skylar Diggins-Smith questioned why the WNBA proceeded with Thursday’s game against the Connecticut Sun, which took place just hours after Brittney Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges in Russia.
“Nobody wanted to even play today,” Diggins-Smith told reporters. “How are you supposed to approach the game with a clear mind when the whole group is crying before the game?”
Before the game, the WNBA released a statement in coordination with a moment of silence between the teams:
The Phoenix Mercury guard further explained there was a profound impact on the players following the news.
“This is our real-life friend, real-life sister,” she said. “Imagine if your real-life friend or real-life sister is out here. I don’t expect everybody to give a damn, but we really do. And we come out here and we’re still supposed to play this game.”
As far as the game goes, the Sun won, 77-64.
Griner has been detained since February after she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after vape cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.
In May, the U.S State Department classified her as wrongfully detained.