Jun 21, 2022 - World

Brittney Griner's wife says U.S. embassy botched long-awaited phone call

Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury is seen during the game against the Indiana Fever at Indiana Farmers Coliseum on September 4, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury during a game against the Indiana Fever on Sept. 4, 2021, in Indianapolis. Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

WNBA star Brittney Griner was unable to reach her wife over the weekend despite calling nearly a dozen times because there was nobody at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to connect the couple, Griner's wife, Cherelle, said Monday.

Why it matters: The long-awaited phone call was scheduled for the couple's fourth wedding anniversary. The two haven't been able to talk since the WNBA star was arrested in February, Cherelle Griner said.

Driving the news: "I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, fed up," Cherelle Griner told the Associated Press.

  • "I'm pretty sure I texted BG’s agent and was like: 'I don’t want to talk to anybody. It's going to take me a minute to get my emotions together, and just tell everybody I’m unavailable right now.' Because it just knocked me out. I wasn’t well, I’m still not well," she said, per AP.
  • A State Department spokesperson said, "We deeply regret that Brittney Griner was unable to speak with her wife because of a logistical error."
  • "We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas," the State Department spokesperson said.

The big picture: Cherelle Griner told AP that she is "very pissed" about the canceled phone call and said it had been planned for two weeks.

  • "I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now. If I can't trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that's a much bigger ask than to catch a Saturday call," she said.
  • Cherelle Griner has called on President Biden to bring her wife home.

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