(PresidentialWire.com)- WNBA star Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia since back in February, facing charges of carrying cannabis oil into the country while she was travelling through it.
Many people have appealed for her release since then. Recently, Griner herself made that appeal, sending a handwritten letter to President Joe Biden asking for him to work to have her released, as well as other Americans who are being detained in the country.
Representatives for Griner released some excerpts from this letter on Monday. In it, Griner writes:
“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.
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home.
“I voted for the first time in 2020, and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore. I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates!
“It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now. I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
Some people have surmised that Griner is being held in Russia as a political pawn. In other words, they suspect that Russian authorities may have jumped on the opportunity to detain a person with as much notoriety as Griner when she was in their country — and that she may not have actually carried the cannabis oil with her at all.
It’s possible that Russia is detaining Griner in hopes that they can make a prisoner exchange with the U.S. for someone they feel is important. Or, they could be using her as a pawn for some other political gain.
Griner’s letter was release on Independence Day, and she specifically mentioned the day in it. She wrote that the meaning of freedom is completely different to her now that she’s being detained and is facing a trial in Russia.
“On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veterans. It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
Adrienne Watson, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, confirmed that the White House did indeed receive the letter from Griner. She commented publicly:
“We believe the Russian Federation is wrongfully detaining Brittney Griner. President Biden has been clear about the need to see all U.S. nationals who are held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad released, including Brittney Griner.
“The U.S. government continues to work aggressively — using every available means — to bring her home. The President’s team is in regular contact with Brittney’s family, and we will continue to support her family.”