Brittney Griner's Sister Shekera Says WNBA Star's Detention Has Been 'Gut-Wrenching'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 10, 2022

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 10: Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury looks on during the game against the Chicago Sky during Game One of the 2021 WNBA Finals on October 10, 2021 at Footprint 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

Shekera Griner, the sister of WNBA star Brittney Griner, commented Friday on the detention of her sister in Russia.

Shekera called Brittney's detention "gut-wrenching," and called on United States President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the entire administration to "do whatever necessary" in order to bring Brittney home "safely and quickly."

Meredith Cash @mercash22

Brittney Griner's sister, Shekera, is breaking her silence to call on <a href="https://twitter.com/POTUS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@POTUS</a> and the US government to bring the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBA</a> superstar home <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreBG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeAreBG</a> <br><br>"It's been totally gut-wrenching for myself and my family," she says. <a href="https://t.co/Nqpwifb2T0">pic.twitter.com/Nqpwifb2T0</a>

Friday marks 113 days since Griner was first wrongfully detained by Russian authorities at an airport in Moscow for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing hashish oil.

Last month, the United States government changed its classification of Griner to "wrongfully detained," opening the door for the U.S. to negotiate Griner's return to the country rather than allowing the Russian legal system to play out.

It was also reported by ESPN's T.J. Quinn that U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson agreed to work on Griner's case after previously working for many years as an international hostage negotiator.

There have been reports regarding the United States considering a prisoner swap with Russia, but nothing has come to pass yet.

Former WNBA star and current University of South Carolina head women's basketball coach Dawn Staley tweeted Friday about bringing Griner home:

dawnstaley @dawnstaley

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FreeBrittneyGriner?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#FreeBrittneyGriner</a> 113 days being wrongfully detained in a Russian prison….now is the time to bring <a href="https://twitter.com/brittneygriner?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@brittneygriner</a> home to us! Now! With each passing day our sister and friend is being missed by loved one. Please God hear our cry to bring her home. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeAreBG?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WeAreBG</a> <a href="https://t.co/o50ZpLzOYB">pic.twitter.com/o50ZpLzOYB</a>

Griner, 31, is widely regarded as one of the greatest women's basketball players of all time due to her success collegiately, professionally and internationally.

The 6'9" center won a national championship and Player of the Year award at Baylor before playing for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA with whom she has been named an All-Star seven times to go along with two scoring titles, two WNBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and one championship.

Griner also won gold medals at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics as part of Team USA.

Since the start of the 2022 WNBA season, teams have placed decals on their courts featuring Griner's initials and jersey numbers.