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Long-awaited anniversary phone call between Brittney Griner and wife goes unanswered

Jun 21, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

“If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home?”

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Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February, attempted to call her wife 11 times on their anniversary, but the U.S. Embassy in Moscow never picked up the call.

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A U.S. State Department spokesperson reportedly told CNN that officials “deeply regret” the “logistical error.” Cherelle Griner told the Associated Press (AP) that the weekend call had been scheduled for weeks.

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Griner, 31, is facing up to 10 years in prison after allegedly being caught travelling with cannabis vape cartridges. The allegations have not been proven.

According to ESPN, the calls went unanswered as the phone line at the embassy was not staffed at the time.

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“I find it unacceptable and I have zero trust in our government right now,” Cherelle Griner told AP. “If I can’t trust you to catch a Saturday call outside of business hours, how can I trust you to actually be negotiating on my wife’s behalf to come home? Because that’s a much bigger ask than to catch a Saturday call.”

Griner added that she was still hoping to talk to or meet with President Joe Biden, but “at this point, it’s starting to feel like a no.”

In early May, the U.S. State Department reclassified Griner as “wrongfully detained.”

Ned Price, a spokesperson for the department, later confirmed that a U.S. ambassador had a meeting with Russian counterparts, but did not reveal any details about those discussions. Last week, Price reiterated that Griner “should not be detained for a single day longer.”

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“Our position for some time on this has been very clear: Brittney Griner should not be detained,” he said.

Last week, Russia state media reported that Griner’s detention had been extended a third time and she will remain in custody until at least July 2.

“Imagine the heartbreak. 123 days w/out hearing her voice. Holding out hope for a call. Finally getting that call, just to have it keep ringing,” Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, tweeted earlier this week.

“My heart breaks into pieces every time I think of it — but it’s nothing compared to the reality BG and her family are enduring,” the tweet added.

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