WNBA Star, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and Phoenix Mercury center, Brittney Griner, is currently in the custody of the Russian government for alleged possessions of hashish oil cartridges. The drug charges for Griner come in the middle of the war between Russia and Ukraine, where tensions are high, and relationships with America are strained.
Speaking with ESPN, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the United States will “provide every possible assistance” to Griner and other citizens held in other nations.
Griner has played the last five WNBA offseasons overseas, where higher salaries are for women players. Griner has been in custody since early February.
“There’s only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point,” Blinken. “Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we, of course, stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes in Russia.”
He added, “We have an embassy team that’s working on the cases of other Americans who are detained in Russia. We’re doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected.”
In addition to Blinken, Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, released a statement on Instagram:
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely.
Thank you!”– Cherelle Griner
Following her detainment, America has released an additional “do not travel” warning for Russia.