Stephen Curry Pays Tribute to Brittney Griner at Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year Gala 2022
Kimberly White/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated
On Thursday, NBA superstar Stephen Curry was honored with Sports Illustrated’s 2022 Sportsperson of the Year in San Francisco!
At the gala, Curry shone the spotlight on another athlete, Brittney Griner, who was just released by Russia in a prisoner swap.
He told the crowd, “We are glad she’s home, we’re glad she’s reunited with her family. It’s a constant reminder for everybody continuing to use their platforms to speak on issues that are meaningful and can move the needle. Thank you to President Biden’s Administration for being a part of that fight. But, it’s also a reminder that we all need to stay engaged in the fight to protect American citizens at home and abroad who are wrongfully detained, and we can continue to be engaged in that fight.”
In August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison and fined more than $16,000 for allegedly smuggling drugs into the country.
Brittney was arrested in February at the Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow with less than one gram of cannabis oil in her luggage. She later pleaded guilty to drug charges in hopes of receiving leniency.
With a special message for Brittney, Steph said, “BG, we love you. We thank you for your sacrifice and your continued perseverance and patience to get through this process, and hope you enjoy reuniting with your family. We are always with you BG.”
The Sportsperson of the Year is given to athletes, coaches, and teams who best represent the spirit and ideals of sportsmanship, character, and performance.
Curry’s Golden State Warriors teammates Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, as well as their coach Steve Kerr, were also in attendance.
Stephen’s wife Ayesha and his dad Dell Curry were also there to lend their love and support.
Along with showing some love to his teammates and family during his acceptance speech, Curry admitted, "This award catches you off guard. To be recognized for something like this of this magnitude, and when you look at the list of past recipients, your mouth kind of drops when you look at it... From the legends, the hall-of-famers, the GOATs who have shared the stage similar to this. Kareem, Bill Russell, [Michael Jordan], LeBron [James], Breanna Stewart, [Dwyane] Wade… so many men and women from all worlds of sports who have changed their game, their world, and changed in ways that will live on forever, I couldn't be more humbled and honored to represent all of the people that have been a part of my story, that have helped raised me, coach me, play with me, inspire me."
Other big names to be honored at the gala include Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, softball player Jocelyn Alo, youth activist Dieter Cantu, and Yankees star Aaron Judge.