Brittney Griner’s wife Cherelle told Good Morning America’s co-anchor Robin Roberts that support from the WNBA has brought her "comfort" but now she'd like President Joe Biden to do whatever is necessary to secure Griner's release from detention in Russia.
“I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn, ” Cherelle told GMA. “So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it.”
Griner has been detained in Russia since Feb. 17 for allegedly having cannabis oil in her bags when she entered an airport near Moscow where she was arriving to complete her season with the Russian UMMC Ekaterinburg. As a way of supplementing her low WBNA salary, Griner had been playing in Russia for seven years where Cherelle says she was treated like a superstar.
Griner - a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. - faces drug smuggling charges that carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Earlier this month, the Biden administration said Griner is being wrongfully detained.
Cherelle has spoken with Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Griner’s case, but not the president.
“I was grateful for the call, you say she’s top priority, but I wanna see it. and I feel like to see it would be me seeing BG on U.S. soil,” Cherelle told Roberts. “At this point I don’t even know who I’m getting back when she comes back.”
"Every single day matters ... to make sure that she comes back."— Good Morning America (@GMA) May 25, 2022
Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA superstar Brittney Griner, who has been detained in a Russian prison for nearly 100 days, speaks to @robinroberts about the fight to bring her home. https://t.co/A7bpCs5jQp pic.twitter.com/Yv8GFk5hfW
Cherelle, who graduated from law school at North Carolina Central University earlier this month, has not spoken with Griner since the day she was first detained.
“I first heard the news through Brittney, actually. She started texting me around 2:00 a.m. that morning,” Cherelle said. “‘Babe. Babe. Babe. Wake up. They have me in this room. I don’t know what’s going on.’ and so I instantly text back “Who are they and what room?”
Cherelle said Griner texted back: “The customs people. They just grabbed me when I was going through, and they have me in this room.” Griner then said they were soon taking away her phone and that she'd call again when she could. Cherelle's still waiting for that call nearly 100 days later.
“The first week I laid on this couch and cried my eyeballs out. I was numb. I couldn’t move. And then I said, ‘You got to get up now.’”
Via her lawyers, Brittney Griner sent a bouquet of roses to Cherelle to thank her for doing the GMA interview, knowing how difficult it would be for her.
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