- Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia back in February, and has since been sentenced to 9 years in prison.
- The US government deemed the WNBA star "wrongfully detained" and has proposed a prisoner swap to free her.
- The betonline.ag team used Twitter data to determine from which US states Griner seems to be drawing the most support.
Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for more than half a year.
The WNBA superstar was first arrested in February, when customs agents at a Moscow airport found cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. Since then, she's been convicted of drug smuggling with criminal intent and sentenced to nine years in Russian prison.
The US State Department has classified Griner as "wrongfully detained," which sends a "strong signal that the US government does not believe that there is a legitimate case against her," as an expert previously told Insider. Even still, plenty of Americans have been vocal about the fact that they don't want the two-time Olympic gold medalist to come home.
The team at betonline.ag set out to find where those people opposed to Griner's return — and, conversely, those offering their support — are located. Using trends software with direct access to geotagged Twitter data from more than 180,000 tweets, the group determined 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.
Unsurprisingly, Arizona — home to Griner's WNBA franchise, the Phoenix Mercury — offered more support for the 6-foot-9 center than any other state. South Carolina, Oregon, and Massachusetts followed close behind at the top of the list.
Though Griner is a Houston, Texas, native and brought a national championship to Baylor Bears, the Lone Star State was not among the top-10 most favorable to the superstar. In general, Griner is seemingly best supported in the Southwest and on both coasts, with minimal support coming from the Midwest excepting for Illinois and Iowa.
Here's the list of the top 1o states most favorable towards the embattled American basketballer:
2. South Carolina
And here's the map depicting which US states produced the most and fewest supportive tweets: