Brittney Griner's wife Cherelle is speaking out on behalf of the WNBA player's recent arrest. Griner has been detained in Russia for several weeks after Russian authorities discovered vape cartridges in her luggage at the local airport. Many were outraged after news of Griner's detainement was not made public until weeks after it occurred. In an Instagram tribute, Cherrelle spoke of the difficult time her family is going through.
"Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife's safe return from Russia," she captioned a photo of her and the basketball star in part. "Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated. I love my wife wholeheartedly, so this message comes during one of the weakest moments of my life. I understand that many of you have grown to love BG over the years and have concerns and want details. Please honor our privacy as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely."
The Russian Customs Service said in a statement Saturday, Mar. 5 that the cartridges were identified as containing oil derived from cannabis and were indeed Griner's. The charge can carry a prison sentence of 10 years in prison. Griner's agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas did not dispute the reports.
"We are aware of the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia and are in close contact with her, her legal representation in Russia, her family, her teams, and the WNBA and NBA," Kagawa Colas said Saturday, Mar. 5. "As this is an ongoing legal matter, we are not able to comment further on the specifics of her case but can confirm that as we work to get her home, her mental and physical health remain our primary concern."
Griner plays for the Phoenix Mercury. She has played in Russia for the last seven years in the off season during the winter, earning over $1 million per season, more than she earns playing in the American professional league. She's won Olympic gold medals with the U.S., is a WNBA championship with the Mercury and a national championship at Baylor. Griner is also a seven-time WNBA All-Star.
"Brittney Griner has the WNBA's full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States," the league said in a statement. She has yet to speak on the ordeal. Several celebrities have shared their support of Griner on social media.