“It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year,” Griner wrote in her handwritten letter from Russia on July 4
Griner sends letter to Biden pleading for his help
In the wake of her arrest and detention in Russia, Brittney Griner is begging for President Joe Biden’s assistance.
On July 4, Griner’s team made snippets of a letter to Biden public. The letter was written by the WNBA star. The 31-year-old has been held in custody in Moscow since February on suspicion of having vape pens filled with hash oil.
Griner begged for release in the letter, which ESPN’s T.J. Quinn was able to receive, and she voiced concern that she might never go back home.
She stated, “I’m frightened I might stay here forever while 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.”
Griner focused on the significance of the Fourth of July celebration to her family, particularly her father Raymond Griner’s military career.
Another part stated, “On the Fourth of July, our family usually respects the service of those soldiers who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran. Freedom means something very different to me this year than it does in the past, so thinking about how I typically celebrate this day stings.
According to ESPN, the letter to President Biden was written by hand. How the letter got from Griner to the White House is a mystery.
Griner addressed President Biden directly, acknowledging that he was preoccupied with many important issues at the moment but pleading with him to assist her and the other Russian inmates.
She said, “I know you have a lot on your plate, but please don’t forget about me and the other prisoners.” “Please use all of your might to get us home. In 2020, I cast my first ballot, and I chose to support you. I have faith in you. You can still help me regain my freedom since I still have a lot of good to do.”
“I long for my wife! I long for my family! My teammates are missed! Knowing that they are currently going through such pain hurts me. I appreciate anything you can do to get me home right now “Added she.
The two-time Olympic gold winner was stopped at Sheremetyevo International Airport in February when it was allegedly discovered that her luggage contained vape cartridges supposedly containing hash oil, a chemical that is forbidden in Russia.
Later, the American State Department declared that Griner had been unlawfully held by the Russian Federation. “We have had a pretty clear stance on this for a while. It is inappropriate to hold Brittney Griner. There should be no more than one day of her detention, “In a press conference on June 14, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said.
She started her trial on Friday in a Russian court, and according to her attorney Alexander Boykov, she will be detained until all hearings are finished. Griner may spend up to 10 years in jail if found guilty.
Never miss a story again; subscribe to PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to receive the best of the magazine’s content, including juicy celebrity news and gripping human interest tales.
Griner’s wife, Cherelle, provided an update on the situation and expressed her concern for her wife’s welfare in an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton last week.
She will always strive to write convincingly to ensure that I don’t break since she knows I’m studying for my bar exam and that I have a lot going on, and she wants to always be my strong person, Cherelle said.
Cherelle stated that Brittney had informed her that she was “tough,” not “on her knee right now,” and would need some time to recover after returning home. Griner wrote to Cherelle in a letter, which has been their only source of communication, “But I’m holding on and I won’t break until I get home.”
Cherelle said she doesn’t yet have any definitive answers in regards to what the government is doing to assist.
I’m hearing a lot of convincing arguments that [Griner] is a priority, that they’re doing everything they can, and that it’s already at the top of the chain of command, she said. “That’s making me think that Biden has this issue right in front of him,” the speaker said.
Cherelle, though, asserted that so far, she hasn’t actually noticed any changes. Nobody seems to be in a position to be able to provide me with any information, so I must make do with what I can see, which is that my wife isn’t present, she said.