Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February 17 of this year. Griner was allegedly caught with an electronic cigarette containing hash oil.
Griner was pulled aside with this cannabis product on her person by authorities at Moscow-Sheremetyevo International Airport upon arrival in Russia.
She was then charged with possession and smuggling of drugs, which is a serious crime in Russia, carrying up to ten years in prison.
Now, Griner is pleading with Joe Biden to do more, as her chances of freedom begin to diminish.
Griner’s Trial Starts
Griner’s trial began this past Friday, July 1.
However, she will remain in prison for another six months until the final outcome of the case is delivered. She is now getting understandably desperate for the US government or Biden to help her.
Griner’s arrest occurred a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine this past February, which some consider suspicious. There is speculation she was held and charged in order to basically use as leverage and a hostage in putting pressure on the United States.
There is no doubt having one of our citizens held in Russia and being unable to get her out does not look good for this country.
The US-Russia relationship has never been very friendly, but Griner is hoping something can be done. The thing is, Russia can use Griner as a bargaining chip for Russian prisoners who are in the US.
Brittney Griner sent a letter to the White House on Monday appealing directly to President Biden for help obtaining her freedom. She has been detained by Russian authorities for 137 days. pic.twitter.com/SvEIEvhQ05
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 4, 2022
Griner’s Wife Speaks Out
Cherelle Griner, Brittney’s wife, said she is fighting in the US while her wife remains detained in Russia. She said she’s tired of US authorities and their excuses regarding the case.
Cherelle directly called for Biden to intervene and bring her wife back as soon as possible, saying she voted for Biden.
On Monday, a handwritten letter by Brittney was delivered to the White House.
In the letter, Griner begs Biden not to forget about her and other American prisoners who are in the same condition as her. She also says she’s legitimately afraid of being locked up for the rest of her life in Russia.
Cherelle said her wife has received no concrete answers about her case from Russian authorities or US officials.
On Monday, July 4, in an official statement, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said the US government is committed to bringing Brittney home.
Jake Sullivan, national security adviser, and Antony Blinken, secretary of state, said they are giving all necessary support to Griner’s family and working to resolve the case in the best possible way behind the scenes.
Brittney Griner ain’t never getting out under Biden…he don’t even know he president lol
— No I’m Not Vegan (@chefkeva_) July 4, 2022
The Bottom Line
Since her arrest, several players from the NBA and WNBA have been speaking out to try to bring Brittney back.
In an interview with ESPN, Golden State champion Stephen Curry said every effort has to be made to solve Brittney’s case as soon as possible.
He also said pressure and publicity have to be done as much as possible to force a resolution to this situation.