Cherelle Grinerwife of the arrested star of the WNBA with the Phoenix Mercury, Brittney Grinersaid he was unable to speak to the player on the phone last weekend, because calls to the US embassy in Moscow were not answered.
it’s supposed to Griner would have access to a phone call on Saturday, the fourth wedding anniversary.
Cherelle he tried to call his wife almost a dozen times through the American embassy, but they never got through because the embassy phone line was unmanned.
The couple has not spoken on the phone in four months, since Griner’s arrest in Russia. That should have changed on Saturday, when a long-awaited call finally took place after getting approval from the Russian government.
But the day came and nothing happened, leaving a distraught Cherelle Griner wondering what went wrong and suspecting at least initially that Russian authorities had foiled the call.
On Monday, he said he learned a more disturbing truth from his wife’s lawyers: Brittney Griner actually there was tried to call 11 times over a period of several hoursdialing a number he had been given at the American embassy in Moscow, which he had been told would then put the call through to Cherelle Griner en Phoenix.
But each time, the call went unanswered because the embassy desk where the phone is apparently unstaffed on Saturday.
“I was distraught. I was hurt. I was fed up, fed up,” Cherelle Griner said of how she mourned an anniversary she had been looking forward to.
“I’m sure I texted the BG agent and said, ‘I don’t want to talk to anyone. It’ll take me a minute to get my emotions together and tell everyone I’m not available right now. Because he just knocked me out. I wasn’t okay, I’m still not okay.”
It was all a logistics error
The Department of State said Monday that “we deeply regret that Brittney Griner could not speak to his wife due to a logistical error”.
The department reiterated that it has no higher priority than the safety of Americans abroad and that it remains in regular contact with the families of hostages and those wrongfully detained.
For Cherelle Griner, the experience exacerbated already simmering frustrations about the US government’s response to his wife’s case. Although US officials have repeatedly said they are working to get the two-time Olympic gold medalist home from Russia.
She said she was “very upset” about the problem, especially since the call had been scheduled for two weeks, yet no one warned her during that time that it might be logistically impossible due to the weekend.
I find it unacceptable and I have no confidence in our government at this time. If I can’t trust you to take a call on Saturdays outside of business hours, how can I trust that you’re really negotiating on behalf of my wife to get me back home? Because that’s a much bigger request than taking a call on Saturday.”
The reason for the imprisonment
Brittney Grinerseven times WNBA All-Star who plays for Phoenix Mercurywas detained at a Russian airport on February 17 after authorities said a search of her bag revealed vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.