Britney Griner makes a direct appeal to President Joe Biden
According to sources, Britney Griner sent a written formal letter to President Joe Biden yesterday and asked him to help free her from detention in Russia.
The White House was informed by Griner’s representatives, who also made portions of the letter public.
Griner’s letter says:
“As 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, I’m terrified I might be here forever.”
Griner also expressed that the concept of freedom felt completely different to her this fourth of July.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those men who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran.” She further added: “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
How the letter made it from Griner’s detention cell outside of Moscow to the White House is unknown. Griner has been able to communicate with her friends and family, according to news reports, but Russian authorities have been watching the chats.
Griner, a standout center for the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, was detained on February 17 in Russia as he tried to enter to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the Russian Premier League. She was accused of bringing into Russia illegally manufactured vape cartridges containing hashish.
Griner became the focus of a criminal inquiry into the “large-scale trafficking of drugs. It may carry a penalty of up to 10 years behind prison in Russia.”
On May 3, U.S. officials designated Griner as “wrongly held,” which indicates that instead of letting her judicial case proceed. The U.S. government will attempt to negotiate her discharge and return. The Griner experiment started on July 1.
According to Quinn, the trial is largely regarded as a “show trial” that is intended to result in Griner’s guilt. That would then make it easier for Russia to arrange a successful prisoner swap with the United States.
In the trial, Griner has not yet submitted a plea. She is now hoping that President Biden would act quickly on her request, leading to a probable release.
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other detainees,” Griner wrote. “Please do all you can to bring us home.”