Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle Asks for Joe Biden's Help with WNBA Star's Detainment

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 12:  A close up shot of Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury at practice and media availability during the 2021 WNBA Finals on October 11, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, urged President Joe Biden to become more involved in the efforts to release the Phoenix Mercury star from her detainment in Russia.

"There is one person that can go get her, and that's our president," Griner said during an interview with ABC's Good Morning America (h/t Mechelle Voepel of ESPN) on Wednesday. "He has that power. You know, I'm just like, 'Why are we not using it? Like, urgently, use it.' We're expecting him to use his power to get it done."

International relations with Russia have deteriorated during the country's invasion of Ukraine, which began around the same time as Griner's detainment in late February.

Voepel noted Russian authorities said Griner's luggage at a Moscow airport contained vape cartridges with hashish oil. She could face a 10-year prison sentence, although the Biden administration has declared her as wrongfully detained.

Cherelle Griner also suggested there would be more urgency from the United States government if it was an NBA player being detained instead of a WNBA player.

"We do live in a world that, the bigger the platform, the bigger the urgency," she said.

Former United Nations ambassador Bill Richardson is working on the case. He helped negotiate the release of former U.S. Marine Trevor Reed from Russia in April. U.S. Reps. Greg Stanton (Arizona), Colin Allred (Texas) and Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) have also introduced a resolution calling for Griner's release.

"Brittney Griner has the WNBA's full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States," the league said in a statement in March, when news of Griner's detainment became public. The league also put decals with her "BG" initials on its courts prior to the start of the 2022 season in early May.

Griner has spent her entire WNBA career with the Mercury after they selected her with the No. 1 pick of the 2013 draft. The seven-time All-Star has helped lead them to two WNBA Finals, helping them win the WNBA title in 2014.