Brittney Griner’s wife speaks in Chicago following WNBA star’s guilty plea in Russia


CHICAGO — Cherelle Griner, the wife of American basketball star Brittney Griner, who pleaded guilty Thursday to drug possession charges in a Russian court, is set to address the fallout in Chicago.

Griner, who has been vocal about her wife’s detention at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport while returning to play basketball in Russia, will be joined by Rev. Al Sharpton.

“Brittney has admitted to making a mistake, and I hope the Russian authorities recognize that humbling act and respond with compassion,” said Rev. Al Sharpton in a statement before Friday’s press conference. “She is in the fight of her life right now, which is why we’ll be in Chicago to show our support for Brittney and for the Administration and their efforts to bring her home as soon as possible. We must all continue to pray she finds strength through this challenging time.” 

Russian police said they found vape canisters containing cannabis oil in Griner’s luggage. Thursday’s plea could see the Phoenix Mercury center sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Earlier this week, Griner wrote a letter to President Joe Biden expressing fears that she would never return home. In response, Biden spoke with Griner’s wife, assuring her that the White House was doing all it could to bring the star back to the US.

Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks power forward and President of the WNBA Players Association, alongside fellow WNBA players, will attend the news conference. The WNBA players’ union said that it stood by Griner.

Teams have also paid tribute to the incarcerated star throughout the season.

The league’s All-Star game will be played on Sunday at Wintrust Arena at 1 p.m.

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