The proceedings of Brittney Griner’s Russian imprisonment are moving along.
US State Department officials met Monday with Griner’s Phoenix Mercury teammates to discuss her case and reveal how President Biden’s administration is trying to get her home. The officials in the meeting come from an office specializing in freeing hostages and wrongfully detained Americans called State Department Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, or SPEHA.
Among her teammates who attended was WNBA Legend Diana Taurasi, who released an official statement afterward through the Mercury revealing the government officials and the league are working together to bring Griner home as swiftly as possible.
“There is a lot involved in getting her back home and safe, they’re working relentlessly,” Taurasi said. “We’re here to do whatever we can to amplify and keep BG at the forefront, which is more important than any basketball game and anything else that’s going on in our lives. We want BG to come home as soon as possible, it’s number one on our list.”
The 31-year-old’s coach also has Griner’s back and has joined the fight to ensure anyone with a voice speaks up for the wrong committed.
“We are on day 116 since BG has been wrongfully detained. It was great to hear from the State Department that we should continue to amplify that message and that we should continue to press all those who have any influence or power to help bring BG home,” coach Vanessa Nygaard said. “She’s our teammate, she’s an American and we want her back home.”
After the state department meeting, the team’s players and staff met with Arizona congressman Greg Stanton, where the team is based, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, from Griner’s home state of Texas.
Griner was first detained on February 17 in an airport near Moscow, Russia, after being accused of carrying vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage. If convicted, Griner could face up to 10 years in prison.