WNBA Star Maya Moore Left The League To Help Wrongfully Convicted Man, Jonathan Irons, Get Free

WNBA Star Maya Moore Left The League To Help Wrongfully Convicted Man, Jonathan Irons, Get Free

WNBA star Maya Moore has been fighting to prove Johnathan Irons’ innocence, after wrongfully being in jail for 22 years.

Maya Moore has won 4 WNBA championships with the Minnesota Lynx and holds a WNBA MVP title, but she walked away from the game to put her focus on helping Johnathan Irons become a free man.

Jonathan Irons, 40, was 16-years-old when he was tried and convicted as an adult, by an all-white jury for the burglary and shooting at the home of 38-year-old Stanley Stotler.  During his time in jail, Irons, maintained his innocence, stating that he was wrongly identified during the lineup.

He walked out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center a free man on Wednesday (July 1st) after a Missouri judge overturned his conviction in March. The judge ruled that there were several issues with the case, like a fingerprint analysis that would’ve shown Irons was innocent.

Maya Moore and Irons talked to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America Thursday (July 2nd.) She told Robin Roberts,

“In that moment I just — I really felt like I could rest, I mean I’ve been standing and we’ve been standing for so long — it was an unplanned moment where I just felt relief … it was kind of a worshipful moment just dropping to my knees and being so thankful that we made it.”

When Jonathan Irons was asked how did it feel to be free he said,

“I’m absolutely elated and thankful just to be here in this moment right now” 

Moore doesn’t know if she will return back to the court but spoke on her decision to step away from the game two seasons ago.

“When I stepped away two springs ago, I just really wanted to shift my priorities to be able to be more available and present to show up for things that I felt were mattering more than being a professional athlete.”

Johnathan hopes that his story will serve as inspiration for others to keep fighting, and wants to help more people with their cases.

“We shouldn’t give up. We should keep going. In this moment I want people to have hope from this story because we’re in dark times. And we got to keep going. We got to keep the faith.”

What are your thoughts on Maya Moore stepping away from the basketball career to fight for Jonathan Irons? Let us know in the comments!

Authored by: Demi Lobo