WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since February 2022. Since this is obviously a political move by Russia, United States President Joe Biden will meet Griner's family.
The U.S. president will visit Griner's family and the family of Paul Whelan, another political prisoner detained by Russia. Cherelle Griner, Brittney's wife, will attend the meeting with Biden at the White House.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said the following for the media:
“He wanted to let them know that they remain front of mind. And that his team is working on this every day on making sure that Brittney and Paul return home safely."
As many sports fans and U.S. citizens are aware, the current administration has made a proposal to the Kremlin to swap prisoners. However, Russia did not accept the offer.
President Biden to meet with Brittney Griner's wife
Cherelle Griner and many fans of Brittney Griner asked Joe Biden and his administration to do something about the situation. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done as Russia has made a lot of wrong moves lately.
While the current administration proposed to swap Viktor Bout, a notorious arms trafficker, for Brittney and Paul Whelan, the Kremlin rejected the proposal. President Biden has continued to negotiate a deal that would benefit both sides, but there may not be a win-win situation in this case.
This will not be the first time Brittney's wife has talked to the U.S. president. They had a phone call in July. President Biden assured Griner that the government was doing everything in its power to secure the release of the political prisoner.
The situation between the two countries is not perfect and it is unlikely that Russia will let Brittney go without getting anything significant in return.
Brittney Griner is still detained
Brittney Griner was detained Feb. 17, just a week before Russia invaded Ukraine. The WNBA star was detained for possession of cannabis oil in her luggage at the Moscow airport.
WNBA salaries aren't exactly great, which is why the Phoenix Mercury star played overseas. She brought a lot of success and championships to Ekaterinburg, the Russian team she played for. Unfortunately, one mistake changed her entire life.
After multiple extensions to her detainment, Griner's trial finally started on July 1. At that point, the Kremlin was at odds with the rest of the world. This is why she was scared of getting a harsher sentence.
In early August, Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison, which is considered an unreasonable punishment. This sentence has made things much harder for the U.S. government, but her fans are hoping that she makes it back home very soon.
The Mercury star has received a lot of support from WNBA and NBA players, including LeBron James, Sue Bird and Steph Curry. Unfortunately, this did not help her case.