(Fwrd Axis) — WNBA star Brittney Griner fears she might never return home and asked President Joe Biden for help in a letter passed to the White House through her representatives amid her trial in Russia after being detained since February.
Griner’s agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas said the letter was delivered to the White House on Monday and while the majority of the letter to the President remains private, her representatives released excerpts to the public, which included the Phoenix Mercury center saying she is “terrified”.
″…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,” Griner wrote.
The Houston native has been detained since February when she was arrested for drug smuggling charges. Her trial began last week and if she is convicted, she faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison. The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran,” she wrote. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
Russian authorities allege that the 31-year-old had cannabis-derived vape cartridges in her possession while at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. While Brittney Griner’s agent has not confirmed what the WNBA star did have, it is thought to have been non-psychoactive cannabidiol or CBD. It is popular among professional athletes to use in the middle of injury recovery and the World Anti-Doping Agency removed it from its list of prohibited substances in 2018.
She then begged the President to do what he can to free her along with the other Americans currently detained in Russia.
“Please do all you can to bring us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore,” Griner said “I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
“The U.S. government continues to work aggressively — using every available means — to bring her home,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement Monday.
“National Security Advisor Sullivan has spoken twice with Brittney’s wife over the past two weeks and the White House is closely coordinating with the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, who has met with Brittney’s family, her teammates, and her support network,” Watson added.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, spoke to CNN last week and pleaded with Biden along with the U.S. government to do more — saying exactly that: she needs to see them do more.
“It’s really, really difficult. This is not a situation where the rhetoric is matching the action,” she said. “I do have to unfortunately push people to make sure that the things they’re telling me is also matching their actions and so it’s been the hardest thing to balance because I can’t let up. It’s over 130 days and BG’s still not back.”