Brittney Griner’s spouse Cherelle described their recent call from Russia to detention as “disturbing”.
Brittney and Cherelle have spoken twice via phone since Brittney was detained by the Russians for transporting vape cartridges through a Moscow Airport. Cherelle felt positive about the first conversation, which took place in August. The second, however, had a chilling effect on her, she stated during a CBS News interview that aired Thursday.
Cherelle Griner stated that the first call was “just so delightful just hearing her voice”, adding that it made her believe her wife could survive.
Cherelle Griner stated that Brittney pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced in August to nine years imprisonment. She added, “If you consider just a person’s suffering and when they have suffered at a maximum… she was at that level that day.”
She said, “There was nothing that I could do.” It was a 30-second to a two-minute period of her crying on the phone, literally. It was the most intimate moment that I have ever shared with my wife. I couldn’t even think of words. I don’t know if there is enough fuel left to allow her to keep going.
Cherelle Griner stated that she cried for up to three days after the disconnect, and described Brittney’s interaction as “the most disturbing telephone call I have ever received.”
The former basketball star, who played in Russia during the WNBA offseason from 2014 to 2015, will be back on the court on Oct. 25 to appeal.
She admitted that she was responsible for the cartridges during the trial but claimed it was an accident. Griner is considered “wrongfully detained” by the United States, despite her acknowledgment. This decision considers factors like whether the detaining nation is seeking to use the U.S citizen as a political tool and whether they are being treated fairly by the respective judicial systems.
In July, the State Department stated that Washington had made “substantial proposals” to send her and Paul Whelan home. However, there has been little progress on any deal. Although the Biden administration hasn’t indicated that they are returning soon, administrations have historically not done so until wrongfully held citizens were released.