Brittney Griner’s sister asks Russia to ignore politics and free her

The family of Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Brittney Griner has called on President Joe Biden to do “everything necessary” to have her released from custody in Russia.

The two-time Olympic medalist was arrested in Russia in February for transporting marijuana through an airport in the Moscow region. The Phoenix Mercury player competed in European leagues during the WNBA offseason, which prompted her trip to Russia.

“My sister has been wrongfully detained in Russia for over 100 days now,” the player’s sister, Shekera Griner, said in a moving video.

“For many of you, Brittney is affectionately known as BG, the WNBA star, the gold medalist. To us, she’s a daughter, she’s a sister, she’s an aunt, she’s a cousin, she’s a niece, she’s a woman,” she added.

In May, the 31-year-old’s detention was extended for a month until mid-June. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted of drug trafficking.

“For 100 days I haven’t seen my Brit. It’s been totally heartbreaking for me and my family – his mum and dad, my siblings, myself,” the sister said.

“I don’t wish that on anyone.”

Ms Griner called on President Joe Biden and the entire administration to do whatever was necessary to bring the basketball star home “safely and quickly”.

Earlier, Cherelle Griner, the player’s wife had also asked the Biden administration for help.

On Saturday, Penny Taylor used her induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame to call for the release of her former teammate Phoenix Mercury. “BG is our family. She is also yours. The entire global sporting community must come together to insist that it is a priority,” Ms Taylor said.

Earlier this month, NBA icon LeBron James issued a public call on Twitter asking President Biden to work harder to secure the athlete’s release.

“As a decorated Olympian and a member of an elite global sporting community, BG’s detention should be resolved out of respect for the sanctity of all sports and for all Americans traveling abroad,” wrote Mr. James on behalf of his company, Uninterrupted.

“It is imperative that the US government immediately address this human rights issue and do whatever is necessary to bring Brittney home.”

Mr James has also shared a petition for his followers to sign and is titled ‘Secure Brittney Griner’s speedy and safe return to the United States’.

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Post expires at 10:36am on Thursday June 23rd, 2022