A WNBA basketball pro athlete, who has been detained abroad since February, Brittney Griner tried to call her wife 11 times through the American embassy in Russia on their fourth anniversary, but nobody was there to patch her through. Cherelle Griner was set to speak to her wife from a Russian jail after four months of no communication, she said to the Associated Press. And things were set to change after getting approval from the Russian government to connect with her wife.
But her wife’s lawyer came with some bad news for Cherelle Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center got a number at the U.S. embassy in Moscow on which she can connect with her wife, and she actually dialed it nearly a dozen times. The couple had been told the embassy was going to patch the call through to Cherelle Griner in Phoenix. But unfortunately for them, the call went unanswered because the desk at the embassy where the phone rang was unstaffed at the time.
“I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, fed up. I’m pretty sure I texted BG’s agent and was like: ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody. It’s going to take me a minute to get my emotions together, and just tell everybody I’m unavailable right now.’ Because it just knocked me out. I wasn’t well, I’m still not well,” Cherelle Griner told the Associated Press.
The State Department expressed regret over the “logistical error.” A contact within the U.S. government apologized for the error, Cherelle said.
Cherelle was “very p—-ed” about the incident, as she told the Associated Press, especially since the call had been on the schedule for two weeks and there was no mention of a potential snafu.
“I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now. If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that’s a much bigger task than to catch a Saturday call,” she added.
She also said that she had hoped she would get to talk to President Biden, but “at this point, it’s starting to feel like a no.”
Griner has been held in Russia since February. The WNBA star was arrested for allegedly bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis oil through a Moscow airport. Her detention has been extended three times, with the latest being July 2.
If she’s convicted, Griner could face up to 10 years in a Russian prison.
On the contrary, critics of the WNBA player spoke out on social media, suggesting they don’t really care what happens to Griner. Some called her an anti-American, some labeled her as a criminal, and many others suggested that if America steps in to bring her home, that maybe she would appreciate this country a little more than before.