The US government declared the WNBA star to be “wrongfully detained” and proposed a prisoner swap to free her. The BetOnline.ag team analyzed Twitter data to determine which the US states Griner appears to be receiving the most support from. Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for over six months.
The WNBA superstar was first detained in February after Moscow airport customs officials discovered cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. She has since been found guilty of drug trafficking with the intent to distribute and given a nine-year prison term in Russia.
According to a previous expert who spoke with Insider, the US State Department’s designation of Griner as “wrongfully detained” sends a “strong signal that the US government does not believe that there is a legitimate case against her.”
Even so, a large number of Americans have expressed their opposition to the two-time Olympic gold medalist returning home. The staff at BetOnline.ag set out to determine the locations of those opposed to Griner’s return and, conversely, those who were in favor of it.
The team identified which states produced the most tweets with phrases like “free Brittney Griner,” “bring Brittney home,” “#wearebg,” “#freebrittneygriner,” and more that expressed support for the eight-time WNBA All-Star. They did this by using trends software with direct access to geotagged Twitter data from more than 180,000 tweets.
Unsurprisingly, Arizona, the state that is home to Griner’s WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, provided the 6-foot-9 center with the most support. At the top of the list, South Carolina, Oregon, and Massachusetts were close behind. The 10 states that support Griner the most, according to the map, are: