Megan Rapinoe Wears Suit Honoring Brittney Griner as She Receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The two-time World Cup champion also said Griner is "being used as a political pawn" and that the U.S. government needs "to bring her home immediately"

Megan Rapinoe, Brittney Griner
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty; KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty

Megan Rapinoe is showing her support for Brittney Griner.

Rapinoe honored Griner, who has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17, with her suit choice as the soccer star received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Joe Biden at the White House Thursday.

Hours before, Griner, 31, pleaded guilty to charges of smuggling drugs into Russia, but emphasized that "there was no intent," and that she did so "inadvertently."

Rapinoe, 37, wore a white suit featuring Griner's initials and a flower, both embroidered on the lapel.

"The most important part of today," she wrote on her Instagram story along with a flower bouquet emoji. "BG We Love You."

Megan Rapinoe Wears a Suit Honoring Brittney Griner to Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Megan Rapinoe/Instagram

The U.S. Women's National Soccer Team co-captain also spoke out earlier in the day when news of Griner's plea went public.

"BG is being used as a political pawn and we need to bring her home immediately," Rapinoe wrote on her Instagram story. "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," two-time World Cup champion said, along with a red heart and a prayer hands emoji.

Megan Rapinoe Wears a Suit Honoring Brittney Griner to Receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Megan Rapinoe/Instagram

On Thursday, Griner, 31, pleaded guilty to illegally bringing cannabis products into Russia. The Phoenix Mercury star told the court, though, that it was not her intent to break the law and only did so "inadvertently" when she was quickly packing to travel through the country.

Griner now faces up to 10 years in prison. Her trial is expected to continue for several weeks or months.

In May, the U.S. State Department classified Griner's arrest as wrongful detainment.

"The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner," a State Department spokesperson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. "The U.S. Government will continue to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner and her family."

On July 4, the two-time Olympic medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star wrote a letter to Biden pleading for his help.

"... as I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any accomplishments, I'm terrified I might be here forever," she wrote.

Rapinoe received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday afternoon. She is the first soccer player to receive the honor and, along with fellow Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, the fifth and sixth female athletes in history to receive the award.

"It's literally the point of life to be able to walk in your truth and be who you are," she told the LA Times, when asked about receiving the nation's highest civilian honor. "I just see this [award] as a validation of all the things that I've stood for, not a validation of me."

The other 17 recipients include actor Denzel Washington, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and posthumously, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and Sen. John McCain.

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