UPDATED 6:28 PM PT – Thursday, October 6, 2022
The wife of jailed WNBA star Brittney Griner has spoken out for the first time since the athlete was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.
Griner was an all-star center for the WNBA Phoenix Mercury team and she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. She was traveling to Russia to compete when Russian customs arrested her after they discovered cannabis vaporizer in her possession. Russia carries strict drug laws. Although the substance was medically prescribed to Griner while she was in Arizona, any amount of marijuana is illegal in the country.
During an interview with Amanda Watts, Cherelle Griner detailed troubling phone calls from the WNBA player, which made her very concerned about her wife’s well-being. Cherelle said her wife is being held hostage. She also said that Brittney has suffered punishment beyond her crime. Cherelle hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin will come together with President Joe Biden to negotiate her wife’s release.
Griner’s appeal hearing is set for October 25th in Moscow. Her wife hopes a prisoner swap between the United States and Russia will happen. Brittney has been in Russian custody since February.