The WNBA announced plans to acknowledge the importance of Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner to the league, according to a press release.
During the 2022 season that tips off Friday, May 6, Griner's initials and jersey number (42) will be featured along the sideline of all 12 WNBA courts.
Griner has been detained in Russia since before that country's invasion of Ukraine. There are fears that Russian President Vladimir Putin could use Griner as a political prisoner to get something from the United States.
"As we begin the 2022 season, we are keeping Brittney at the forefront of what we do through the game of basketball and in the community," said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert. "We continue to work on bringing Brittney home and are appreciative of the support the community has shown BG and her family during this extraordinarily challenging time."
The league also announced that the Mercury have been granted both roster and salary cap relief so that it can carry a replacement player until Griner, who will be paid her full salary, returns home and is ready to get back on the court.
In addition, every WNBA market will support BG's Heart and Sole Shoe Drive, which is in partnership with the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Griner founded the initiative in 2016 to support the homeless population.