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“What about Brittney Griner?  After Trevor Reed exit, questions swirl about WNBA star’s fate

Trevor Reed’s release from imprisonment in Russia was met with applause and fanfare on Wednesday, but raised questions and some outrage over the fate of jailed US basketball star Brittney Griner.

Griner, 31, was arrested in February after Russian officials said they found vaping cartridges containing cannabis-derived oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow. She has been detained in Russia ever since.

News of the US-Russian prisoner exchange that freed Reed, a 30-year-old former US Marine from Texas, drew mixed reactions on social media.

Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, said on Instagram that her “heart overflows with joy for the Reed family. I don’t know them personally, but it pains me to have your loved one detained in a foreign country. This level of pain is constant and can only be corrected by a safe return home.For the Reed family, that day is today.

On Twitterone user said, “So happy for Trevor Reed and his family! However, we need to do the same for Brittney Griner.”

“What about Brittney Griner, huh? another wrote.

“Brittney Griner couldn’t make the outing???” another interrogates.

“What about Brittney Griner?  After Trevor Reed exit, questions swirl about WNBA star’s fate
Trevor Reed, accused of attacking police officers, during a hearing in Moscow on March 11, 2020.Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images File

President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared statements on Wednesday praising Reed’s release and promising to prioritize the repatriation of Americans wrongfully detained overseas. Both cited the high-profile case of Paul Whelan, but notably did not mention Griner.

NBC News has contacted attorneys and representatives for Griner as well as the WNBA for comment.

At a Wednesday briefing, senior administration officials said they were “very aware that there are other Americans detained in Russia,” adding that Whelan and Griner are “very much in our minds today. today, although we are so happy with the news of Trevor Roseau.”

“We will continue to work to try to find ways to deal with other cases as best we can,” the officials said.

Some social media users noted that Griner was being held in Russia after being found with hash oil, while Reed was released in exchange for convicted Russian drug trafficker Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was serving time in Connecticut.

“What about Brittney Griner?  After Trevor Reed exit, questions swirl about WNBA star’s fate

“That’s really wild #BrittanyGriner is locked over a vape pen and no high profile politicians or athletes have spoken,” one social media user said. tweeted.

“Why is it so hard to bring Brittany Griner home??? … The United States just let go of a Russian drug lord, you would have thought the navy and Brittany would have been a good exchange for the States United”, another added.

Griner is charged with alleged drug trafficking, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, Russian authorities said.

Last month, his detention was extended until May 19. A person familiar with Griner’s situation said in March that she was doing well and had seen her Russian legal team several times a week since her detention.

Griner, a 6-foot-9 athlete, played center for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and competed in Russia during the winter months for seven years.

She last played for her Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg on January 29 before the league took a two-week break in early February for the FIBA ​​World Cup qualifying tournaments.

She also won two Olympic gold medals with the United States, a WNBA championship with the Mercury and a national championship with Baylor. She is a seven-time All-Star.

Griner’s wife posted on Instagram of his detention.

“My heart, our hearts are jumping with each passing day. I miss your voice. I miss your presence. You are our person! There are no words to express this pain. I hurt, we hurt,” she wrote on March 7.

Tim Stellah contributed.

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