Brittney Griner's Wife Cherelle 'Deeper' Than Hurt over Star's Russian Detention

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2022

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 06: Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, speaks during a rally to support the release of detained American professional athlete Britney Griner at Footprint Center on July 06, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. WNBA star and Phoenix Mercury athlete Brittney Griner was detained on February 17 at a Moscow-area airport after cannabis oil was allegedly found in her luggage. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Cherelle Griner, the wife of Phoenix Mercury superstar center Brittney Griner, spoke about how she is handling Brittney's detainment in Russia at a rally on Wednesday.

While addressing a crowd of 300 people at the "Bring BG Home Rally" at the Mercury's Footprint Center home, Cherelle said the following about her wife's 140-day detainment, per ESPN's Josh Weinfuss:

"I assure you that what and how I feel is no longer hurt by the impact of this tragedy. What and how I feel today is a deeper emotion than hurt. I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated that 140 days have passed since my wife has been able to speak to our family and friends. I'm frustrated that my wife is not going to get justice."

Griner was taken into custody at the Sheremetyevo International Airport near Moscow in February and alleged to be in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil, which is illegal in Russia.

She has had her detainment extended multiple times since then, and her trial finally began last week.

ESPN's T.J. Quinn reported that experts and U.S. officials believe it is a "show trial" meant to make an example out of Griner and possibly force the United States' hand in a prisoner swap. If convicted, Griner faces 10 years in prison.

Quinn previously reported in May that the United States government had reclassified Griner as "wrongfully detained," which typically means a shift in focus toward bringing the person home rather than allowing the legal process to play out.

With Griner in the midst of a trial and no movement yet in terms of bringing her back to the U.S., Cherelle appealed to President Joe Biden.

According to Quinn, Cherelle had a phone call with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday before the rally, and she later said Biden and Harris expressed "commitment" toward "getting BG home."

The call came on the heels of Brittney managing to send a letter to the White House, and it was later confirmed that Biden had read the letter. In it, Griner asked Biden not to "forget about me and the other American Detainees."

Former mayor of Phoenix Greg Stanton and former Dallas Wings player Imani McGee-Stafford were among the other people who spoke at Wednesday's rally and made direct appeals toward Biden and Harris to bring Griner home.