Brittney Griner‘s release has hit yet another hiccup.
The US State Department has been trying to influence a swift release of the WNBA star, and now the US Embassy in Russia is trying to do its part to make sure she’s got contact with her loved ones. However, when Griner’s wife Cherelle attempted to set up a call with her to celebrate their wedding anniversary, things quickly went awry when the phone line never connected due to a lack of staffing at the embassy.
The couple hasn’t spoken since Griner’s arrest in February, and Cherelle was upset when the scheduled call never occurred on Saturday. She first thought that the Russian government had intervened and cut off phone access but was pretty upset when she learned of the staffing issues.
Cherelle spoke to The Associated Press about the letdown in a recent interview.
“I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, fed up,” Cherelle Griner told The Associated Press. “I’m pretty sure I texted BG’s agent and was like: ‘I don’t want to talk to anybody. It’s going to take me a minute to get my emotions together and just tell everybody I’m unavailable right now. Because it just knocked me out. I wasn’t well, I’m still not well.”
Ned Price, The State Department’s spokesperson, apologized for the mistake and noted that the call had been rescheduled.
“We deeply regret that Brittney Griner was unable to speak to her wife over the weekend because of a logistical error,” said Price. “It was a logistical issue that was compounded in part by the fact that our embassy in Moscow is under significant restrictions in terms of its staffing.”