Britney Greiner wrote a letter to President Joe Biden with an urgent plea: “Please don’t forget about me.”
The message from the WNBA star was delivered via a handwritten letter she received from a Russian prison after she was arrested on drug charges at a Moscow airport in February. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
“I’m sitting here in a Russian prison, with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey or any achievements, I fear I could be here forever,” Greiner wrote.
Greiner’s representatives shared sections of the letter with BuzzFeed News and other media outlets, but said the full message would be kept private between her and the president.
“On July 4th, our family often honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father, a Vietnam War veteran,” Griner wrote. “It hurts to think that freedom means something like how I usually celebrate this day. This year is completely different for me.
Griner, 31, said Biden would be her first vote in the 2020 presidential election.
“I understand you are dealing with a lot, but please don’t forget about me and the other American detainees. Please do your best to bring us home,” he said. “I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I trust you. I still have so much good with my freedom that you can help restore.”
“I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates!” Greiner said. “It kills me to know he’s suffering so much right now. I’m grateful for anything you can do right now to get me home.”
National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the White House is working “aggressively” to bring Griner home.
“We believe the Russian Federation is wrongfully imprisoning Brittney Griner,” Watson said. “President Biden has been clear about the need to see the release of all US citizens held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad, including Brittney Greiner. The US government continues to work aggressively – using all means available – to bring her home.”
Watson said top officials are in regular contact with Griner’s family and teammates.
But Griner’s wife, Cherelle, told CBS Tuesday morning that she still hasn’t heard from Biden about the letter, which is “very disappointing.”
Cherelle said she was disappointed not to be able to meet Biden in person.
“It kills me every time … when I have to write to her, and she’s asking, ‘Have you met him yet?’ And I have to say, ‘No.’ … I’m sure she’ll love that I write to him and ask now because my family has tried and to no avail. So I’m going to do it myself,” Cheryl said.