Brittney Griner: Phoenix Mercury reveals meeting with State Department

Washington DC - The Phoenix Mercury basketball team met with the US State Department on Monday to discuss Brittney Griner's continued detention in Russia.

(From l. to r.) Diana Taurasi, Candice Dupree, and Brittney Griner of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury basketball team.
(From l. to r.) Diana Taurasi, Candice Dupree, and Brittney Griner of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury basketball team.  © Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The team announced the news on Twitter and was largely positive about the meeting.

"I'm confident in the State Department and the work that they're doing," said Brianna Turner. "They encouraged us to keep speaking her name, to keep holding them accountable to bring BG back home as soon as possible."

"Knowing the State Department at the highest level, from US President Joe Biden to the team that is working on bringing back all Americans who are wrongfully detained, gives us a lot of confidence that they're working on it," Griner's teammate Diana Taurasi added.

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Griner (31) was detained at an airport in Moscow on February 17 after security allegedly found multiple cannabis vape cartridges in her bag. Authorities accused her of smuggling a narcotic, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Fellow WNBA players, as well as high profile figures such as Hilary Clinton and tennis legend Billie Jean King, have called for Griner's release.

In May, the State Department classified her case as "wrongfully detained," and handed it over to the office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).

The official involvement of the US government is significant in that it opens up wider diplomatic avenues to secure the WNBA star's release.

Cover photo: Christian Petersen / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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