May 25, 2022 - Sports

Brittney Griner's wife urges Biden to bring detained player home

Brittney Griner and Courtney Vandersloot

Photo: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The wife of Brittney Griner, the WNBA player detained in Russia, in a "Good Morning America" interview Wednesday urged President Biden to do whatever it takes to bring the basketball player home.

Driving the news: Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Cherelle Griner last week and said that bringing her wife home is a top priority for his department, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to Axios at the time.

What she's saying: "I don't know," Cherelle Griner said when asked if she believes Blinken has prioritized the case. "I was grateful for the call. He says she's a top priority, but I want to see it. I feel like to see it would be me seeing her on U.S. soil."

  • Cherelle Griner said she wants Biden to do anything to free her wife: "I just keep hearing that he has the power. She's a political pawn, so if they're holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it."

Brittney Griner "would wholeheartedly love to not go overseas," Cherelle Griner said. Brittney Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury, and she plays in Russia during the WNBA off-season.

  • "She has only had one Thanksgiving in the states in nine years and she misses all that stuff just because, you know, she can't make enough in the WNBA to sustain her life."

Of note: Cherelle Griner said that she has not been able to call her wife since she was detained and that she's only been able to communicate with letters "sporadically."

  • The State Department has condemned Russia for only allowing "sporadic contact" with Brittney Griner, which they said "may not be consistent with Vienna Convention to which Russia has subscribed."

Editor's note: This post was corrected to reflect that Brittney Griner was detained in February, not March. News of the detention broke in March.

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