Brittney Griner’s wife says the US Embassy ruined the phone call
Brittney Griner tried to call his wife Cherelle Griner 11 times on Saturday through the US Embassy in Russia, but the embassy was understaffed, Cherelle Griner told the Associated Press on Monday.
Cherelle and Brittney haven’t spoken in over four months since Brittney was arrested in Russia. The two men were due to speak on the phone on Saturday to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Still, Brittney never called, or so Cherelle first thought.
On Monday, Cherelle learned that Brittney had called 11 times over several hours to a number given to her by the US Embassy in Moscow, according to the AP report. The Embassy would then pass the call to Cherelle in Phoenix.
But no one was at the embassy office on Saturday to connect the couple.
“I was distraught. I was hurt. I was done, I was fed up”, Cherelle told the Associated Press. “I’m pretty sure I texted the BG agent and said, ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone. It’s going to take me a minute to collect my emotions and tell everyone I don’t am not available at the moment.
“Because it just knocked me out. I was not well, I am still not well.
The State Department said “we deeply regret that Brittney Griner was unable to speak to his wife due to a logistical error.” Cherelle said someone in the US government called to apologize.
Although the number given to Brittney is usually used during the week, Cherelle said the call has been on the books for some time.
Brittney was first arrested in Russia in February after officials claimed they found vaping cartridges containing hash oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport. She has been detained since and his detention was extended until at least July 3. The State Department has classified Brittney as a wrongfully detained citizen, and pressure has mounted on the government to bring the Phoenix Mercury star home.
Although she wants Brittney home as soon as possible, Cherelle was looking forward to the next best thing on Saturday.
“It was such a great moment because it would have been the first time I could really tell if she’s okay,” Cherelle said, via The Associated Press. “It would have been the first time for me to hear her in real time and really know if she’s okay or if she’s seconds away from no longer existing.”
Cherelle said she’s starting to lose hope that President Joe Biden and his administration can help bring Brittney home, and that even hoping to speak with Biden about the situation is “starting to feel like a no.”
After all, she said, a phone call is a much easier request than getting his wife released from overseas detention.
“I find this unacceptable and I have no confidence in our government at this time,” Cherelle said, via The Associated Press. “If I can’t trust you to take a call on Saturdays out of office hours, how can I trust you to negotiate on behalf of my wife to come home? Because it’s a request a lot more important than taking a call on Saturday.”