Brittney Griner tried to call her wife 11 times on their anniversary, but the U.S. government failed to connect the call. Cherelle Griner is livid.
Saturday was the fourth anniversary of Brittney and Cherelle Griner’s marriage. The two have not spoken in four months as Brittney has been detained in Russia on cannabis charges.
Cherelle Griner told the AP on Monday that their Saturday phone call had been planned, but she learned that Brittney attempted to call her almost a dozen times, only no one from the U.S. embassy in Moscow was staffed to patch it through.
“I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, fed up,” Cherelle Griner told The Associated Press, of how she felt on the anniversary. “I’m pretty sure I texted BG’s agent and was like: ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody. It’s going to take me a minute to get my emotions together, and just tell everybody I’m unavailable right now.’ Because it just knocked me out. I wasn’t well, I’m still not well.”
The State Department told the AP: “We deeply regret that Brittney Griner was unable to speak with her wife because of a logistical error.”
Nonetheless, Cherelle Griner said she was “very pissed” considering this phone call had been scheduled for two weeks, and no one had warned her that staffing issues could arise due to it being on a weekend.
“I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now. If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that’s a much bigger ask than to catch a Saturday call.”
She has been hoping to meet with President Biden, or at least speak to him, but is losing hope. “At this point it’s starting to feel like a no,” she said.
The State Department has said that Brittney Griner, the seven-time WNBA All-Star who was accused of possessing cannabis vape cartridges at a Russian airport in February, is wrongfully detained.
Cherelle Griner was hoping to use this phone call as an opportunity to assess her wife’s well-being.
“This was such a big moment because this would have been the first time where I truly could tell if she’s OK,” she said. “This would have been the first time for me to actually just hear her in real time and to truly know if she’s okay or to know if she’s seconds away from not being in existence anymore.”