Britney Griner, a W.N.B.A star widely known as one of the best players on the team, has been detained in Russia since February. She was detained for drug charges according to the Russian Federal Customers Services after carrying hashish oil, which contains THC in the form of vaping. This detention also comes during a tense time between the U.S. and Russia after they invaded Ukraine. Now, she wrote a handwritten letter pleading with President Biden to not forget her, causing conversation online about why she has yet to be released, especially as it was announced she was “wrongfully detained” in May.
NEW: A letter from Brittney Griner was sent to the White House today, making a direct appeal to President Biden for her freedom. Representatives shared the following excerpts: pic.twitter.com/pvh4IpOfou
— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) July 4, 2022
In Griner’s letter to President Biden, she said “I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home” and writes how she is terrified she could be there forever. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, has been incredibly vocal and active about bringing her wife home and why she does not believe claims that the White House is doing everything they can to bring her home. “My wife is struggling and we have to help her,” she said, also noting that Biden had not responded to the letter, calling it “very disheartening.”
I am very concerned about #BrittneyGriner and her holistic well being.
— Be A King (@BerniceKing) July 3, 2022
Griner’s coach, Vanessa Nygaard said “If it was LeBron, he’d be home, right? It’s a statement about the value of women. It’s a statement about the value of a Black person. It’s a statement about the value of a gay person. All of those. We know it” regarding the situation. Many people also began to discuss the issue online, in the hopes that public pressure would make Biden act quicker.
#FreeBrittneyGriner 138 days our friends and sister @brittneygriner has been wrongfully detained in a Russia prison. @POTUS can you please read her recent cry to you and prioritize as if she was one of your kids…please. Finally Lord God your grace is needed right now. #WeAreBG pic.twitter.com/dbRCjRJE7g
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) July 5, 2022
Griner faces 10 years in penal colony if she were to be convicted, which many legal experts think she will be as cases rarely go to trial unless the defendant will be convicted.