IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Wife of Brittney Griner thanks fans for prayers after WNBA star is detained in Russia

“Your prayers and support are greatly appreciated,” Cherelle Griner wrote on Instagram.
/ Source: TODAY

The wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner has thanked fans for their support for Griner, who was detained in Russia after officials in the country said they found hashish oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow last month.

The offense could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me regarding my wife’s safe return from Russia,” Cherelle Griner captioned a picture of the two of them Sunday.

“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. Thank you!”

Griner, who plays overseas during the WNBA’s offseason, won a national championship playing at Baylor University. She is a seven-time WNBA All-Star with the Phoenix Mercury, the franchise that selected her with the top pick in the 2013 WNBA draft.

“We are aware of and are closely monitoring the situation with Brittney Griner in Russia. We remain in constant contact with her family, her representation, the WNBA and NBA," the Phoenix Mercury said in a statement. "We love and support Brittney and at this time our main concern is her safety, physical and mental health, and her safe return home."

“Brittney Griner has the WNBA’s full support and our main priority is her swift and safe return to the United States,” a league spokesman said in a separate statement, according to ESPN.

Griner, who has led the WNBA in scoring twice, has also won a pair of gold medals while competing for the United States in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.

“USA Basketball is aware of and closely monitoring the legal situation facing Brittney Griner in Russia,” USA Basketball wrote in a statement on Twitter. “Brittney has always handled herself with the utmost professionalism during her long tenure with USA Basketball and her safety and wellbeing are our primary concerns.”

Griner's agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, could not elaborate on her client's situation.

“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," she said in a statement, according to ESPN. "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.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States is willing to do what is necessary to facilitate Griner’s return.

“There’s only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point,” Blinken said Sunday at a news conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu. “Let me just say more generally, whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes in Russia.”

“We have an embassy team that’s working on the cases of other Americans who are detained in Russia,” he added. “We’re doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected.”

News of Griner's detainment comes as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine. On Saturday, the United States also advised American citizens not to travel to Russia.