Cherelle Griner, the wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, recently revealed that the WNBA star’s Russian prison sentence “terrifies” her.
Cherelle opened up publicly, for the first time, during an interview with famed journalist Gayle King on CBS This Morning.
“It’s like a movie for me. I’m like, ‘In no world did I ever thought, you know, our president and a foreign nation president would be sitting down having to discuss the freedom of my wife,'” she told Gayle on Oct. 5. “And so to me, as much as everybody’s telling me a different definition of what [Brittney Griner] is, it feels to me as if she’s a hostage.”
Sensing Cherelle’s concern, the veteran journalist told her, “That must scare you.”
“It terrifies me because, I mean, when you watch movies, like, sometimes those situations don’t end well. Sometimes they never get the person back,” the emotional 29-year-old responded. “I mean, this is my life, and so I’m sitting there like, ‘Do we get her back? Do I ever get to see my wife again?’ Like, what happens here? The fact that everything’s so unprecedented and everything’s, like, changeable, I think, is a really good word. Like, I feel like every day I’m hearing something new, and so it’s just kind of like, it’s terrifying.”
As News Onyx reported, Brittney was initially detained on Feb. 17 after Russian customs officials claimed she tried to smuggle hashish oil into the European country. A few months later, in May, the U.S. State Department declared the eight-time WNBA all-star and two-time Olympic gold medalist “wrongfully detained.” In July, she was sentenced to nine years in prison, prompting President Joe Biden to condemn the verdict and sentence.
Brittney reportedly has an upcoming appeal to her sentence. Still, the White House called it “another sham judicial proceeding” on Oct. 5. Officials added that President Biden is instructing his administration to engage with the Russian government–at all levels–to bring Brittney home swiftly. However, the situation brings nothing but sadness and confusion to Cherelle as the outcome of her wife’s detainment is still very uncertain.
“I do believe a crime should warrant a punishment. But it must be balanced. [Brittney Griner] has truly suffered beyond her crime already,” she told Gayle.