Brittney Griner’s wife launches fresh appeal and admits fearing she might not come home

Brittney Griner in a jail cell

As Brittney Griner spends her 32nd birthday in prison, her wife has launched a fresh push for her freedom.

Cherelle Griner and others close to the WNBA player have set up the #WeAreBG campaign to mark her birthday on 18 October.

Speaking to CBS’ Gayle King, Cherelle said it feels like her wife is stuck in a “hostage situation” and questioned if she will see her again. 

“Everyday I feel like I’m hearing something new and it’s terrifying,” she said. 

“Do we get her back? Do I ever get to see my wife again?”

In a video posted to Instagram, Cherelle wrote: “I’ve felt every moment of the gruelling seven months without her.”

She thanked those who have supported Brittney’s cause, adding: “I want to thank president Biden for the administration’s efforts to secure her release.”

On Twitter, Brittney’s USA teammate Breanna Stewart wrote in support of the newly launched campaign, and said: “We are not a family without #BrittneyGriner. 

“It’s time to BRING HER HOME. #WeAreBG. Today marks eight months of her wrongful detention. She needs her family now more than ever. BG – we have not forgotten you, and we will not rest until you’re home.”

Brittney Griner was arrested in February after Russian officers reportedly found vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage at a Moscow airport.

In July, Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges, but said she had inadvertently packed the cartridges in haste and that she had no criminal intent.

The eight-time WNBA All-Star was convicted in Russia on 4 August and was sentenced to nine years in prison and given a fine of one million rubles.

Brittney Griner will have her appeal against the prison sentence heard by a Russian court on 25 October.

President Biden recently said he will only consider a meeting with Vladimir Putin if the Russian president will to discuss the release of Brittney.

Griner was in Russia playing during the WNBA offseason. Her USA teammates and other WNBA players have boycotted playing in country. 

Courtney Vandersloot, who has played with Brittney at the Russian club team Yekaterinburg said: “The whole situation with BG makes it really hard to think that it’s safe for anyone to go back there right now,” CNN reported.