There's been mounting frustration in the sports world over President Joe Biden's seeming inability to get WNBA star Brittney Griner out of Russia as she begins a criminal trial that will almost certainly see her imprisoned for upwards of 10 years.
Amid calls from Griner's wife Cherelle to make a greater effort, President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly spoke with her today about the matter. That meeting followed a personal letter that the President sent to Cherelle.
On Wednesday, the White House released a statement on the contents of the discussion between President Biden and Cherelle Griner. In that call, Biden tried to reassure Cherrelle that he is working to secure Griner's safe return, as well as other wrongfully detained U.S. nationals in Russia and around the world.
"The President offered his support to Cherelle and Brittney's family, and he committed to ensuring they are provided with all possible assistance while his administration pursues every avenue to bring Brittney home. Today's call follows recent calls that National Security Advisor Sullivan and Secretary of State Blinken have had with Cherelle in recent weeks and this past weekend. The President directed his national security team to remain in regular contact with Cherrelle and Brittney's family, and with other families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, to keep them updated on efforts to secure the release of their loved ones as quickly as possible."
Brittney Griner, an eight-time WNBA All-Star and two-time scoring leader, has been detained in Russia since February on drug charges.
The U.S. government has deemed Griner's imprisonment in Russia as a wrongful detainment and has demanded her release and return to the states.
But with Russia being hit with massive sanctions amid their ongoing invasion of Ukraine, diplomatic relations are not what they were just six months ago.