Brittney Griner Sends Joe Biden A Desperate Independence Day Plea

Brittney Griner continues to be held in Russian custody. The New York Times reported that the professional basketball player was detained in February, a week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Griner was held after Russians found marijuana vape cartridges in Griner's luggage during a security checkpoint. The WNBA player was detained, with her detention extended multiple times. Griner's situation went from bad to worse in late June, when the Russians extended her detention for the fourth time. The Times reported Griner began a trial in a Russian court on July 1.

The United States government is trying to help Griner, but her wife isn't clear on details. In an interview on the radio show "Keepin' It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton," Cherelle Griner said, "I'm definitely being told a lot of persuasive statements that [Griner] is a priority and that they're doing everything that they can and that it's already at the highest point of the chain of command." The U.S. State Department made an announcement in May about the WNBA basketball player. A spokesperson said, "The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner," per People. The State Department pledged the government would "continue to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner and her family." But now, Griner is issuing a plea to President Joe Biden.

Brittney Griner sends handwritten letter to Joe Biden as wife speaks out

As America celebrated Independence Day on July 4, ESPN reported that Brittney Griner sent a handwritten letter to President Joe Biden pleading for her freedom. ESPN reporter T.J. Quinn shared excerpts of Griner's letter to the president on Twitter. Quinn tweeted that Griner wrote she was "terrified I might be here forever" and added, "please don't forget about me and the other American Detainees." Griner continued, "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." But back in America, Griner's family is losing hope in the State Department's efforts to free her.

On July 5, the WNBA player's wife Cherelle Griner told "CBS Mornings" that she "will not be quiet anymore." Her frustration was clear as she spoke to Gayle King. "Initially, I was told ... 'We're going to try and handle this behind [the] scenes.' And, 'Let's not raise her value.' And, 'Stay quiet.' And I did that," she explained. "And respectfully, we're over 140 days at this point. That does not work."

Griner's lawyer Alexander Boykov told The New York Times that the WNBA player could get 10 years in prison if she's convicted.