Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Calls on Russia to Release WNBA Star Brittney Griner, Wife Speaks Out [VIDEO]

Brittney Griner‘s wife is speaking out about the WNBA star being detained in Russia on drug charges.

We previously reported that Griner is currently detained in Russia after being arrested last month at a Moscow airport for having vape cartridges in her luggage.


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Griner, who plays for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, was arrested after vape cartridges containing hashish oil were found in her luggage at the Sheremetyevo airport near Moscow. Her wife, Cherelle Griner, hopped on IG Sunday to post a photo of the pair together along with a caption that read … “Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia. 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.”

She adds, “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.”

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Griner has been detained since February when she was busted on suspicion of a drug charge while traveling through an airport. The Russian authorities have released video of the moment they searched her luggage at the airport.

Griner has played in Russia during the offseason since 2015. She is “a member of the UMMC Ekaterinburg, a Russian basketball team that competes in the Russian Premier League and FIBA Europe’s EuroLeague Women,” per PEOPLE. Her arrest came several weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, 72, who represents Griner’s hometown of Houston, is “demanding” that Russia release the two-time Olympic basketball champion from custody.

“Let me be very clear, Brittney Griner is a United States citizen. She was a guest in Russia … I will be demanding her release,” she told the crowd at Saturday’s press conference aired by FOX 26 Houston.

Lee also said she has contacted the U.S. State Department “to try and get them to focus on her circumstances” and noted “how dangerous it is right now in Moscow,” and “in Moscow prisons” amid the rafting conflict.

Texas lawmaker
Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Please, allow Miss Griner to leave. Allow her legal representation to handle her matters,” Lee said before calling on Russia to release all prisoners.

“The one thing about Russian prisoners, when they are foreign [or] from foreign countries, the treatment is horrific,” Lee said. “Their lives are in jeopardy. Their health is in jeopardy. We don’t know whether they’ll make it. Their healthcare is not provided. They’re not eating right.”

“I know that first-hand from the prisoners and the families that I’ve talked to whose loved ones are still in Russia today,” she continued.

Lee then described Putin as “a harasser, a terrorist, [and] a killer.”

She added, “He’s killing innocent people in Ukraine, and we need to get our citizens out [of Russia] immediately.”

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