Brittney Griner's Wife Wants Biden to Do More to Bring WNBA Star Home

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Jul. 6 2022, Published 1:48 p.m. ET

President Joe Biden and his administration need to do more to help bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home from Russia, says Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner.

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Here's what we know about Cherelle as she supports the WNBA star and works towards her hopeful release.

Brittney Griner's trial on drug charges in Russia started this week.

Griner, who plays for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, has been detained in a Russian prison since February for allegedly having hashish oil in her luggage. She was in the country playing for the Russian women's basketball team UMMC Ekaterinburg, which she has done for several years during the WNBA's off-season.

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Griner's trial on drug charges started July 1. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in a Russian prison, The New York Times reports.

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"I will not be quiet anymore," Cherelle told CBS Mornings Gayle King on July 5. "I will find that balance of, you know, harm versus help, in pushing our government to do everything that's possible. My wife is struggling, and we have to help her."

Brittney Griner wrote a letter to President Biden pleading for help.

The State Department declared Griner's case a "wrongful detainment" in May, which elevates the case to the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, the Times reports. On July 4, Griner sent a letter to President Biden asking him not to forget about her.

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"As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I'm terrified I might be here forever," Britteny wrote in the letter.

White House officials say that Biden has read Griner's letter and is expected to respond as soon as today. "The U.S. government continues to work aggressively — using every available means — to bring her home," said National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson in a statement to The Washington Post.

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Brittney Griner met her wife in college.

Griner and Cherelle have been married since 2019. Although the couple originally met when they were at Baylor University in Texas, their relationship didn't start until years later after Griner was divorced from her first wife and fellow WNBA player, Glory Johnson.

Brittney Griner has a net worth of $5 million.

Griner's career in the WNBA has earned her a net worth estimated at $5 million, reports CelebrityNetWorth. Unlike NBA players who receive annual salaries that amount to millions, Griner's WNBA salary is about $227,000.

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The disparity in income is a big reason why Griner plays overseas during the WNBA offseason, Cherelle told ABC News in May.

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"BG would wholeheartedly love to not go overseas," she told ABC News. "She has only had one Thanksgiving in the States in nine years since she's been pro, and she misses all that stuff. Just because, you know, she can't make enough money in the WNBA, like, to sustain her life."

According to CelebrityNetWorth, Griner earned about $1.5 million playing basketball in Russia. She also played for a Chinese women's basketball team in 2014 and earned $600,000.


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