There has been a big shift in the situation involving Brittney Griner being detained in Russia. The U.S. government is now considering the WNBA star to be “wrongfully detained” in Russia.
“The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is among the highest priorities of the U.S government. The Department of State has determined that the Russian Federation has wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner,” the State Department shared. “… The U.S. government will continue to undertake efforts to provide appropriate support to Ms. Griner.”
This reclassification of Griner’s case now means the U.S government isn’t waiting for Russia’s legal system to play. Now the government will seek to negotiate for the Phoenix Mercury center to be returned to the U.S. In addition, fellow WNBA players, and supporters in Congress can publically speak on the situation whereas before, Griner’s family didn’t want a lot of attention brought to her situation.
“Brittney has been detained for 75 days and our expectation is that the White House do whatever is necessary to bring her home,” said Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas.
Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson, has agreed to work on Griner’s case, per a report, Richardson has worked privately for years as an international hostage negotiator.
“It has been 75 days that our friend, teammate, sister, Brittney Griner, has been wrongfully detained in Russia. It is time for her to come home,” shared Nneka Ogwumike, the president of the WNBA players’ union. “Having learned that the U.S. government has now determined that BG is being wrongfully detained we are hopeful that their efforts will be significant, swift and successful.”