Rev. Al Sharpton recently interviewed Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittany, who is imprisoned in Russia, about her spouse’s mental state as she fights to bring her home.
Cherelle expressed that the Phoenix Mercury center is putting up a brave front for her while she knows she’s suffering. The eight-minute interview took place on Sharpton’s radio show “Keepin’It Real” on Wednesday and was posted on Instagram.
“Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney Griner, appeared on Keepin’ It Real with Rev. Al Sharpton this afternoon to discuss the basketball center’s ongoing detainment in Russia,” the caption read. “She urged her fellow Americans to continue pushing the U.S. government to bring #BrittneyGriner back home as soon as possible. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested at a Moscow airport in mid-February, as Russia was beginning its invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. State Department has since said she was ‘wrongfully detained,’ with many arguing her arrest was political in nature.”
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Cherelle revealed that she only gets her information regarding how Brittney is doing via letters. They haven’t heard each other’s voices since Feb. 17.
“Because I’m her person, she’s going to always try and write persuasively to make sure I don’t break because she knows I’m studying for my bar, and she knows I have all these things going on, and she’s trying to always be my strong person,” Cherelle said.
Cherelle continued, “So, she’s telling me she’s okay. She’s like, ‘I’m okay, babe. I’m hardened. I’m not me right now. When I come home, it’s going to take me a minute to get back to myself, but I’m holding on. I won’t break until I come home. I won’t let them break me. I know they are trying to, but I’m going to do my best to just hold on until I can get home.'”
Cherelle said that those involved with Brittney’s case are providing her with persuasive information like Brittney’s a top priority. However, she doesn’t know where they’re at with getting her home.
“What I do know is nobody seems to be at the point where they can tell me anything,” she said. “It’s at that confidential level. I can only go based off of what I see and what I see is my wife isn’t here. So, all I know is they haven’t executed the deal.”
Cherelle urged people to keep Brittney in the media to apply public pressure to convince the Russian government to release Brittney and bring her home.
“Every second that goes by, B.G. is struggling,” she said. “She’s a human. She’s struggling, she’s there terrified, she’s there alone. Even in America, if she was going through a legal proceeding, she wouldn’t be doing it alone…Everything about this is just her biggest nightmare, on top of the fact that B.G. is in a situation where this isn’t even a trial … Nothing about this is justice.”
Brittney went into court Friday, where she was accused of smuggling 0.702 grams, less than a gram of cannabis oil in her suitcase, according to CNN. Prosecutors argue that Brittney intentionally tried to smuggle the substance into a backpack and a suitcase.
U.S. Embassy Charge d’Affaires Elizabeth Rood attended Friday’s hearing and said that Griner was “wrongfully detained,” and that the “practice of wrongful detention is unacceptable.”
“She is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances, and she asked me to convey that she is in good spirits and is keeping up the faith,” Rood said.
She added, “TheU.S.S government, from the highest levels, is working hard to bring Brittney and all wrongfully detainedU.S.S nationals home.”
Brittney’s next hearing of the trial is on July 7.