One of the WNBA’s biggest stars will not be in attendance at the league’s All-Star festivities this weekend, but she is still on everyone’s mind.
Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, was joined by Rev. Al Sharpton, WNBPA executive director Terri Jackson, WNBA president Nneka Ogwumike and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird at a press conference in Chicago on Friday ahead of the league’s All-Star weekend. Cherelle used the platform as an opportunity to thank those who have been supporting her wife during a “gut-wrenching time.”
“It has just been overwhelming for my entire family with joy knowing that BG’s footprint was so big that even in her absence, you still can’t miss her,” Cherelle said.
Cherelle addressed a letter exchange between Brittney and President Joe Biden. After the Phoenix Mercury center wrote to Biden, he responded in a letter that reached both Brittney and Cherelle.
“I believe every word that she said to him he understood, and he sees her as a person and he has not forgotten her, which was her biggest cry in her letter,” Cherelle said.
The press conference came a day after Brittney pleaded guilty to drug charges in Russian court. She has been in Russia since she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February.
Sharpton believes that the guilty plea is a sign of strength and an admirable example for young fans.
“She is a champion on the court, a champion that should’ve been on the court here this weekend,” Sharpton said. “But she was a champion yesterday when she stood up and said, ‘I may have done something unintentional. I will own that.’ And I want young people, young fans around the world to own whatever they do. …
“I do not know what the outcome will be. She doesn’t know. She stood up and owned it. I hope the world knows that she has stood up as that role model.”
The WNBA All-Star Game will tip-off Sunday afternoon and include a tribute to Brittney. Before the league celebrates basketball for a few days, the group at Friday’s podium kept its message for moving forward a direct one: Bring BG home.
“I want to make it very clear that our next move as supporters for BG is to make sure that the administration understands that they have our full support in doing any and everything necessary to be able to bring BG home, as well as every other wrongfully detained American,” Cherelle said.
“What America needs to understand is that she is you, too,” Ogwumike said. “We are BG. Get her home now.”