Imagine being locked away in a cell in a foreign country with no idea when or how you’re going to get home. One can only fathom the dreadful experience that WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has faced. Since February, Griner has remained in the Russian Federal Customs Service’s custody after it was reported that she was in possession of hashish oil enclosed in her luggage. Amid outcry from the public and United States politicians, her wife, Cherelle Griner, is making an emotional plea for her partner’s safe return.
Who Is Brittany Griner’s Wife, Cherelle Griner?
Born Cherelle Watson on July 1, 1992, the Little Rock, Arkansas native gained great success over the years. She’s a graduate of Baylor University located in Waco, Texas. Interestingly enough, this is the same university her future wife, Brittney Griner, also attended. In a reflective Instagram post written in June 2020, the Phoenix Mercury player recalled meeting who would years later become her wife in the “sub-area” of Baylor University. Unbeknownst to then-Cherelle Watson, Brittney Griner was immediately taken by whom she felt was “the one” for her.
Although they struck up a connection at the time, nothing would materialize in a romantic sense. In fact, Britney Griner married former WNBA player Glory Johnson in 2014. But following their short-lived marriage that ended in divorce in 2016, Griner and her longtime friend took it a step further. The couple got engaged in 2018 and married the following June. That same year in 2019, Cherelle Griner enrolled in the North Carolina Central University School of Law as a full-time student, according to her Linkedin. Earlier this month, Cherelle completed her studies, graduating cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree. But unfortunately, Brittney Griner was unable to be there to celebrate her wife’s astonishing achievement with her.
It’s Been Over 100 Days Since The Last Time Cherelle Has Spoken To Her Wife
Over one hundred excruciating days since Cherelle Griner heard the voice of her wife. Brittney Griner was traveling to play for the Russian women’s basketball team, UMMC Ekaterinburg, when she was detained at the Sheremetyevo International Airport for allegedly carrying illegal substances. If officially charged, she could face up to 10 years in a Russian prison.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Cherelle Griner detailed the moment she found out her wife was in trouble. Cherelle stated that she received multiple texts from her, including one saying, “They have me in this room.” Brittney ended the conversation stating she would contact her later, but Cherelle claims that was the last time she spoke with her over 95 days ago.
Cherelle Griner Is Losing Patience With The US Government
Cherelle Griner is ready to increase the pressure on the United States government. Whiile speaking with Robin Roberts, she calls on President Biden and speaks on the claims that her wife is being used as a political pawn. “If they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then do it,” implored Cherelle Griner.
In a separate interview with Angela Rye, Griner once again pressed for President Biden to activate his “power” because he is the “one person that can go get her.” She also shared her belief that if it were a person that perhaps played in the NBA, the level of urgency would be much higher. However, while she cannot speak to or see Brittney Griner, Cherelle depends on her attorneys to communicate the WNBA player’s status.
Cherelle Griner is perhaps adding pressure after hearing that White House Officials would actively pursue the basketball player’s return, reported by The Grio in March. Earlier this month, the US Government secured the release of Marine veteran Trevor Reed as part of a prisoner swap. Following the release of Trevor Reed, Cherelle took to her Instagram stating she does not know him, but she knows the pain of having a loved one detained in a foreign country. Days after Reed was released, media outlets and legal experts began to speculate on what the release means for Brittney Griner. One legal expert cited the release as “a very bad thing for Brittney Griner.”
Cherelle Is Concerned The Experience Will Change Brittany Griner Forever
No doubt, an experience like this would leave anyone traumatized. To make matters more concerning, Russia’s war with Ukraine has left the US and Russia’s relations at an all-time low. Cherelle Griner is concerned that her wife may come back a different person after such a traumatic experience. During her Good Morning America interview she shared, “I don’t know who I’m going to get back when she gets back.” According to American Psychological Association, nearly 50% of individuals in jail, state prison, and federal prison report mental health concerns.
Brittney Griner’s Petition Has Over 150K Signatures
As Cherelle awaits the return of her wife, Brittney Griner, many tributes are underway . It’s rumored the WNBA will Honor Brittney Griner with a court decal. Chris Paul recently wore a shirt displaying Griner’s likeness during the Phoenix Sun and Dallas Mavericks playoff game. There’s also a petition on Change.Org to secure Griner’s swift and safe return to the United States with over 160K signatures.