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The Queen of Basketball director Ben Proudfoot urged President Joe Biden to free Brittney Griner, the WNBA all-star currently detained in Russia, during his Oscars acceptance speech.
“If there is anyone out there who doubts that there is an audience for female athletes and questions whether their stories are valuable or entertaining or important … let this Academy Award be the answer,” Proudfoot said on Sunday night, taking home the award for Best Documentary Short Subject.
Proudfoot later used his time at the microphone to make a political plea, urging, “President Biden, Bring Britney Griner home.”
Griner has been in Russia since she was first detained in February at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
The Russian Federal Customs Service claimed to have found vape cartridges containing the marijuana concentrate hashish oil in Griner’s luggage — an offense that can carry a sentence of up to 10 years in Russia, according to The New York Times.
Proudfoot’s plea is relevant to his Oscar win, as his documentary highlights the achievements of basketball legend Lusia Harris.
Harris is the first and only woman to be drafted into the NBA in 1977, and in 1992, she became the first Black woman to be honored in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
She went on to enter the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame seven years later in 1999.
The documentary, which includes fellow basketball greats Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen Curry as executive producers, aired in July 2021 — two months before Harris passed away at the age of 66.
Watch above, via ABC.
This content was originally published here.