Yesterday (June 20), Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, spoke with the Associated Press about their failed wedding anniversary call. Brittney, who has been detained in Russia since late February, reportedly tried calling Cherelle 11 times, but no employees were at the American embassy in Russia to connect the call.
As previously reported by REVOLT, Brittney’s detainment came after the WNBA player was allegedly caught traveling with illegal cannabis-derived hashish oil in a vape cartridge. Griner’s detainment has been extended multiple times, with the most recent extension supposedly ending by July 2. Several high-profile athletes have called for her release with no luck. If convicted, the Phoenix Mercury center could face 10 years in Russian prison.
Although the call was scheduled for weeks, on Saturday (June 18) when Brittney tried to get through, the embassy was unstaffed. Cherelle now says she has no trust in the United States government. “I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, fed up,” Cherelle said to the Associated Press. “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.”
The State Department apologized, calling the inconvenience a “logistical error,” but that did little to relieve Cherelle. “I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now,” she said. “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 ask than to catch a Saturday call.”
Last month, Cherelle spoke with ESPN and recalled her last conversation with her wife before Brittney’s detainment. “She didn’t want to go back. She just said she was so exhausted from always having to go overseas,” Cherelle said.