Brittney Griner: WNBA players association calls for further action to help free star detained in Russia
Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner has been in detention in Russia after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow; Saturday marked 100 days in custody, with WNBA players association calling for more action
Last Updated: 29/05/22 11:38am
The Women's National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA) has called for more to be done to help free Brittney Griner from detention in Russia.
Saturday marked the 100th day since Griner was detailed after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow.
The Phoenix Mercury player has played basketball in Russia over the past nine years. The 31-year-old, a two-time Olympic gold medalist for the USA, 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.
"Brittney Griner is our teammate, our friend, and our sister. She is a record-breaker, a gold medalist, a wife, a daughter, a champion, a role model, an all-star, and so much more," the WNBA said in a statement on Saturday.
"Right now, BG is an American citizen who has been wrongfully detained in Russia for 100 days. That's 144,000 minutes.
"To our sisters, brothers and colleagues in professional sports: sign the petition, hold your own media blackouts, please. Help us reach the White House.
"To athletes of any age, ability level, team, sport, or country: this is OUR teammate. A member of OUR global sports community, we need to stand up and stand together to call for her release. Speak up, speak out, and do not stop until BG is home.
"To the media: write BG's story. Use your platform and your voices.
"To everyone listening: go to WeAreBG.org and sign the petition, call the White House and call everyone you know. If you know anyone in the Biden administration, CALL THEM."
The statement also calls on President Joe Biden to meet directly with Cherelle Griner, the athlete's wife.
"Cherelle NEEDS to meet with President Biden. Her person, our sister has been wrongfully detained for 100 days. You've heard our pleas. You have heard BG's wife Cherelle's pleas. And now more than ever, we need you to stand with us, and get her person home."
Cherelle, giving her first public interview on Good Morning America on Wednesday, urged President Biden to bring her home, saying: "I just keep hearing that he has the power. She's a political pawn.
"If if they're holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it."