Cherelle Griner, the WNBA star Brittney Griner’s wife, shared how she’s dealing with her spouse’s arrest in Russia in an interview with ESPN’s Angela Rye and even remembered their last conversation.
It has been 100 days since the Phoenix Mercury center’s arrest in February after Moscow airport officials discovered she had cannabis oil vape cartridges in her luggage on her return to America. Brittney is facing smuggling charges with a sentence of up to 10 years.
With Brittney far away for quite some time, Cherelle got emotional during the interview, explaining how her wife’s absence took an emotional toll on her.
“I want my person back,” she exclaimed. “I feel every second that BG is not here. Most people are counting by the days, but it’s not days for me.”
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Cherelle stated that she’s utterly vulnerable since she hasn’t talked to Brittney and doesn’t know her state, mentally and emotionally. She’s forced to rely on people working on her wife’s case.
Cherelle also recalled the last conversation with her wife before she left for Russia.
“It’s the irony of all of it,” the center’s wife said. “She didn’t want to go back. She just said she was so exhausted from always having to go overseas.”
The WNBA star’s original reason for going over to Russia was to play for European powerhouse club UMMC Ekaterinburg, which she has been familiar with doing during the off-season since 2014, Insider reported. According to the description section of a petition created by journalist Tamryn Spruill and the WNBPA, women players play overseas during wintertime to supplement the pay inequality they face in the U.S.
“We talked about it, and I was like, ‘Well, you know what, babe, let’s just make this your last year of the season. You don’t have to go back anymore,'” Cherelle explained. “I was like, ‘We’ll figure something else out when it comes to pay because there’s a tremendous difference in the amount of money that she makes when she’s playing WNBA versus when she goes overseas and, so, that’s why it’s been something that she had to do.”
“If the WNBA paid BG what she makes overseas and treated her the way she’s treated overseas, she wouldn’t go,” she added.
The petition to bring Brittney back to the U.S. requires 200,000 signatures.