The wife of Brittney Griner said the White House has not yet responded to a letter from the WNBA star asking for President Joe Biden’s help in getting her released from Russian detention.
Griner, a 31-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist and center for the Phoenix Mercury, was arrested in February when she traveled to Russia and authorities claimed they found cannabis oil in her luggage. On July 4, she wrote an impassioned letter to Biden asking him not to “forget about me,” and expressing fears that she “might be here forever.”
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, told CBS News that the letter to Biden was the latest effort to get the president’s attention about the Olympian’s detention. Though the White House confirmed to The Associated Press that Biden received the letter, Cherelle Griner said the lack of response from the president has been “very disheartening.”
“It kills me every time that, you know, when I have to write her and she’s asking, ‘Have you met with [the White House] yet?’ And I have to say no,” Cherelle told the outlet Tuesday. “I’m sure she is like, ‘I’m going to write him and ask now because my family has tried to no avail, so I’m going to do it myself.’”
In her letter, Griner said she has been “terrified” as she sits alone in a Russian prison cell.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” she wrote to Biden.
Cherelle Griner said her wife’s words should be taken seriously.
“She is probably the strongest person that I know, so she doesn’t say words like that lightly,” Cherelle told CBS News. “That means she truly is terrified that she may never see us again. You know, I share those same sentiments.”
Griner’s trial began last week, and the athlete faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.