Monday's meeting was between officials from the State Department and members of Brittney Griner’s WNBA team. They discussed the Phoenix Mercury star's long detention in Russia, as well as the Biden administration's attempts to free her.
The State Department confirmed that the meeting was attended by officials from its special office that advocates for hostages or wrongfully detained Americans.
Mercury star Diana Taurasi stated that there is much involved in getting her home safe and sound. She also released a statement from the Mercury. "We are here to do everything we can to amplify BG and keep her at the forefront. This is more important than any other basketball game or anything else in our lives. We want BG home as soon possible. It's our number one priority.
The administration previously stated that Griner and Paul Whelan, a Michigan corporate security executive, are being brought home by the United States.
"Knowing all the State Department officials at the highest levels, from President Joe Biden to the team working on the return of all Americans wrongfully imprisoned, gives us a lot confidence that they are working on it," Taurasi stated.
Griner was taken into custody on February 17th at an airport in Russia. Authorities found vape cartridges containing cannabis derivatives in Griner's bag. The State Department classified Griner as incorrectly detained in May and assigned oversight to the State Department Presidentialenvoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).
"We are now on day 116 since BG was wrongfully detained." "It was wonderful to hear from State Department that we should continue amplifying that message and that it is important to continue to press all who have any influence or ability to help bring BG back home," Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard stated. She's our teammate, and she's American. We want her home.
The Mercury players and their staff met with Congressman Greg Stanton from Arizona and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, both from Griner's hometown Houston.
Stanton stated, "Every day without Brittney for the Mercury team, coaches, and executives is a lifetime." "I was happy to share the work that Congress is doing to secure Brittney’s release.
Griner's teammates and players from the league are pushing President Biden to get home via social media.