Wife of basketball player detained in Russia appeals to Biden

Cherelle Griner thinks the American leader is the only figure capable of obtaining the release of her partner Brittney

Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, believes US President Joe Biden can use his power to free the WNBA basketball player from Russian custody.

Center Phoenix Mercury was arrested at Moscow airport after a search revealed vape cartridges allegedly containing hash oil in its luggage.

With Griner facing 10 years in prison in Russia, the Biden administration is already certain the 31-year-old is being wrongfully detained. According to Cherelle Griner, however, who last heard her partner’s voice on Feb. 17 when she was detained, Biden can step in and bring her back to their home country.

“There is one person who can get her, and that is our president,” Griner explained on Good Morning America.

“He has this power. You know, I’m just like, ‘Why don’t we use it? Like, urgently, use it.’ We expect him to use his power to do so.”

“I’m in a position of total vulnerability right now. I have to trust people I didn’t even know before February 17,” Cherelle Griner, who has previously spoken with US Secretary of State Antony Bilnken as well as NBA and WNBA commissioners, admitted as much.

Brittney Griner walks hand in hand with his wife Cherelle on August 10, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida. Douglas P. DeFelice

©Getty Images

“So I trust her lawyers. … ‘How does she look? How’s her spirit? How’s her energy?’ I’m just asking all these questions, just trying to get some type of cue or vibe.

“Some days they say, ‘She’s really strong…She seemed in a good mood when we were talking.’ And sometimes they say, “His energy was really weak. ” ” Cherelle Griner explained.

With Brittney Griner returning to Russia to complete the UMMC Yekaterinburg season following her arrest, Cherelle Griner is also frustrated by the feeling that there would have been greater urgency from the US government if his wife was a NBA player detained in Russia.

“We live in a world that the bigger the platform, the greater the urgency,” Cherelle Griner pointed out, while pointing out that many WNBA players have to compete overseas in the winter because they don’t get paid enough on home soil.

“She just said she was so exhausted from always having to go overseas,” Cherelle added the first pick of the 2013 draft. “So we talked about it, and I was like, ‘Let’s just make this your last year abroad then.’

“I’m so sorry she’s going through this. Like, it kills me,”Cherelle Griner lamented.

While a trio of US officials have called for Griner’s release, former UN ambassador Bill Richardson is also working on it.

“The Russians held them, I believe, as bargaining chips”, Richardson, who secured the release of former US Marine Trevor Reed from Russian custody in April, told HBO this week.

“They want something in return. Usually another prisoner, a Russian, in the United States. I’m sure the Russians are going to ask for something in return, because Brittney Griner is very high profile.

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Brittney Griner is in custody in Russia.  © Jean Catuffe/Getty Images
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“What makes this feasible is that the President of the United States is willing to consider prisoner exchanges, which we have not. [done] too much in the past.”

For Cherelle Griner, however, she just wants “the cement of our family” go home as soon as possible.

“She’s literally the kindest, sweetest person you’ll ever meet, and that’s very genuine,”Grier said.

“When we were able to communicate, in letters, she said, ‘I’m so sorry to make your life difficult at this time. But don’t give up on me.’ And I’m like, “I’m not going to give up on you. It’s not your fault.””concluded Cherelle Griner.


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