Megan Rapinoe Honors Brittney Griner While Accepting Presidential Medal Of Freedom

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WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 7, 2022.
WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted to a courtroom for a hearing, in Khimki just outside Moscow, Russia, Thursday, July 7, 2022.

On Thursday, soccer player Megan Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the most prestigious civilian honor in the U.S. — and simultaneously paid tribute to detained WNBA star Brittney Griner. Rapinoe wore a cream blazer with the initials ‘BG’ and flowers embroidered onto the lapel.

The ceremony took place on Thursday, the same day Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges in a Russian court. Her detention in the country started in February after officials at an airport near Moscow allegedly found cannabis oil in her luggage.

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Soccer star and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe is recognized by President Joe Biden during a ceremony to award the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2022.
Soccer star and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe is recognized by President Joe Biden during a ceremony to award the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 7, 2022.

“The most important part of the day...BG we love you,” Rapinoe said in her Instagram story with an image of her blazer. “BG is a being used as a political pawn and we need to bring her hom [sic] immediately. This plea doesn’t change that @potus needs to and is working hard to get her home. From what I understand she had to plea to keep the process of getting her home asap in motion. BG we are with you.”

She received the Medal of Freedom alongside 16 other honorees, including Simone Biles.

During his Thursday night speech, President Joe Biden sang Rapinoe’s praises for helping to secure equal pay for the women’s team and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

“I am humbled and truly honored to be chosen for this award by President Biden and feel as inspired and motivated as ever to continue this long history of fighting for the freedoms of all people,” Rapinoe stated.