“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever,” Griner wrote in an open letter obtained by E! News through the WNBA star’s publicist.
Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 at a Moscow airport after vape cartridges allegedly containing hash oil were found during a baggage search. According to ESPN, she was charged with illegal crossing of a customs border with illegal narcotics, and could face up to 10 years in prison.
Griner touched on the heightened significance of today’s national holiday in wake of her own personal experience. “On the 4th of July, our family normally honors the service of those who fought for our freedom, including my father who is a Vietnam War Veteran,” the letter reads. “It hurts thinking about how I usually celebrate this day because freedom means something completely different to me this year.”
“I realize you are dealing with so much, but please don’t forget about me and the other American Detainees. Please do all you can to bring us home,” Griner wrote. “I voted for the first time in 2020 and I voted for you. I believe in you. I still have so much good to do with my freedom that you can help restore.”
“I miss my wife! I miss my family! I miss my teammates! It kills me to know they are suffering so much right now,” she concluded. “I am grateful for whatever you can do at this moment to get me home.”
In an interview with CNN last week, Griner’s wife Cherelle accused Congress of not living up to its word. “This is not a situation where the rhetoric is matching the action,” she explained. “I do have to unfortunately push people to make sure that the things they’re telling me is also matching their actions and so it’s been the hardest thing to balance because I can’t let up. It’s over 130 days and BG’s still not back.”
Cherelle said she would welcome a meeting with Biden, saying, “While everyone wants to tell me they care, I’d love for him to tell me he cares.”