Brittney Griner has written to President Joe Biden with an pressing plea: “Please don’t forget about me.”
The message from the WNBA star was delivered by way of a letter she handwrote from the Russian jail the place she has been held since being arrested in February at a Moscow airport on drug costs. She faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted.
“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.
Representatives for Griner shared sections of the letter with BuzzFeed News and different media retailers, however stated the total message could be stored non-public between her and the president.
“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,” Griner wrote. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
Griner, 31, additionally instructed Biden that her first-ever vote was for him within the 2020 presidential election.
“I understand you might be coping with a lot, however please don’t neglect about me and the opposite American Detainees. Please do all you may to convey us dwelling,” she said. “I voted for the primary time in 2020 and I voted for you. I consider in you. I nonetheless have a lot good to do with my freedom you can assist restore.”
“I miss my spouse! I miss my household! I miss my teammates!” Griner said. “It kills me to know they’re struggling a lot proper now. I’m grateful for no matter you are able to do at this second to get me dwelling.”
Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement provided to BuzzFeed News that the White House was working “aggressively” to bring Griner home.
“We consider the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner,” Watson said. “President Biden has been clear about the necessity to see all US nationals who’re held hostage or wrongfully detained overseas launched, together with Brittney Griner. The US authorities continues to work aggressively – utilizing each obtainable means – to convey her dwelling.”
Watson also said top officials were in regular contact with Griner’s family and teammates.
But Griner’s wife, Cherelle, told CBS on Tuesday morning it was “very disheartening” that she was yet to hear from Biden about the letter.
Cherelle said they were disappointed they had not been able to meet personally with Biden.
“It kills me every time … when I have to write her, and she’s asking, ‘Have you met with him yet?’ And I have to say, ‘No.’ … I’m sure she’s like, ‘I’m going to write him and ask now, because my family has tried and to no avail. So I’m going to do it myself,'” Cherelle stated.