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Cherelle Griner: Brittney Griner ‘at her absolute weakest moment’ ahead of appeal

Yahoo Sports US 10/6/2022 Ryan Young

Cherelle Griner’s most recent call with her wife, Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, left her distraught.

Brittney is still in prison in Russia awaiting an appeal hearing after she was first arrested in February. After Cherelle spoke with her recently, she told CBS News’ Gayle King that she cried for “two, three days straight.”

“It was the most disturbing phone call I’d ever experienced,” Cherelle told CBS on Thursday. “It’s just the most still, I think, moment I’ve just ever shared with my wife. I didn’t have words.”

Brittney Griner is ‘at her absolute weakest moment in life’

Brittney Griner was arrested on Feb. 17 at a Moscow airport after officials said they found vape cartridges with hashish oil in her luggage. She has been detained ever since.

Griner, who plays in Russia during the WNBA offseason, has since pleaded guilty to drug possession and drug smuggling and was sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. She has appealed that sentence, and is due in court next on Oct. 25.

The United States government is working to secure her release, along with the release of fellow American prisoner Paul Whelan, however it’s unclear if any significant progress has been made on that front in recent weeks.

While Griner was reportedly in good spirits, all things considered, early on in her detainment, Cherelle said that mood is long gone.

Brittney, Cherelle said on Thursday, is “at her absolute weakest moment in life right now.”

“She’s saying things to me like, ‘My life just don’t even matter no more,’” Cherelle told CBS. “You know, ‘I feel like my life just doesn’t matter. Like, I’m being tossed around for people’s enjoyment and gain.’”

Cherelle is also worried that, after her appeal hearing has ended, Brittney could end up being moved to a labor camp — something she said she “can’t even fathom.”

“I don’t know if she has anything left in her tank to continue to wake up every day and be in a place where she has no one,” Cherelle told CBS.

Still, Cherelle isn’t giving up.

She wants to make sure Brittney knows that, too.

“Those are all valid emotions to feel and I don’t have answers for, except the fact that your life matters to me, and I wanna get you back home,” Cherelle told CBS. “I’m gonna continue to pray every day that, you know, the people that are the decision-makers in this situation will have mercy and will sit down and they will too see that your life matters and do whatever they can to agree on terms.”

Brittney Griner is due back in a Russian court later this month, where she will appeal her nine year prison sentence. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP) © Provided by Yahoo Sports US Brittney Griner is due back in a Russian court later this month, where she will appeal her nine year prison sentence. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool/AFP)
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