STORY: Writing from a Russian prison cell, U.S. WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner took her plea for help to the top – sending a direct, emotional letter to U.S. President Joe Biden.
Griner was taken into custody at a Moscow airport on Feb. 17, when a search of her luggage allegedly revealed multiple cannabis oil vape cartridges. She was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia in a trial that began last week. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison.
In her letter to Biden, Griner wrote (quote), "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…. I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don't forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home.”
Griner, the star center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has also played regularly in Russia.
Her case takes place against a backdrop of high tension between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. U.S. officials say Griner has been wrongfully detained.
In her plea to the President – excerpts of which were shared by her representatives - Griner added, “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’s next hearing in Russia is set for July 7.