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REVEALED: Megan Rapinoe ‘told Joe Biden to do MORE to free Brittney Griner’ when he called her with news she would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Brittney Griner, 31, has been detained in Russia since February 7
- Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison for being convicted of drug possession after bringing cannabis oil cartridges into the country
- The United States and Russia hold ‘silent diplomacy’ talks over a prisoner swap
American soccer star Megan Rapinoe last month in a phone call urged President Joe Biden to do more to secure the release of Brittney Griner from her detention in Russia.
According to politics, Rapinoe made the request when Biden called to inform her that she would be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest honor given to a citizen in America.
When Rapinoe attended the White House ceremony on July 7, she wore a blazer with Griner’s initials on the lapel.
Griner, 31, was sentenced to nine years in Russia earlier in August after being convicted of drug possession and smuggling.
Griner brought vape cartridges containing cannabis oil to Russia when she flew to Moscow during the WNBA outdoor season to play basketball in the city of Yekaterinburg.
Biden denounced the ruling as “unacceptable,” and the verdict came amid mounting tensions between the US and Russia over Ukraine. There are numerous reports that Griner could now be involved in a high-profile prisoner swap between the two countries.
Megan Rapinoe reportedly told President Biden to do more to free Brittney Griner
Griner has been detained in Russia since February and was recently sentenced to nine years in prison after bringing into the country vape cartridges containing cannabis oil
But Rapinoe, 37, still took the opportunity to tell Biden to secure Griner’s release as soon as possible.
Politico says Biden called Griner’s wife Cherelle in the days after he spoke with Rapinoe.
Rapinoe also called on Biden to step up efforts to free Griner in a speech at the ESPY awards in July.
“We love her, we miss her, we’re doing everything we can to get her out,” Rapinoe said. “BG deserves to be free, she’s being held as a political prisoner – that’s for sure.
“Every time we see BG’s face, every time we say her name in interviews, it puts a lot of pressure on everyone. it puts pressure on the government and Russia and lets BG know we’re thinking about her all the time.
“We haven’t done enough, all of us, we can do more, we can support her more.”
Cherelle Griner has previously outlined her frustration with how the Biden administration is handling Griner’s situation.
Biden reportedly contacted Griner’s wide, Cherelle, shortly after speaking with Rapinoe
Griner appears to be part of discussions about a prisoner swap with Russia and the US
In June, she said, “I wish I could say I have a clear understanding (of the White House’s strategy to free her). They talk to me a lot in code.’
Since then, reports have surfaced of the possible prisoner swap with Griner and Paul Whelan, a former US Marine being held in Russia.
Griner has been incarcerated since February 17. Earlier this week, her legal team in Russia appealed her conviction.
On Thursday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it was engaged in “silent diplomacy” over the potential exchange involving Griner.
“There’s a quiet diplomacy going on and it should pay off if Washington follows suit, and doesn’t fall into propaganda through media hype to score points for an election,” said Ivan Nechayev, a spokesman for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Foreign Affairs, referring to the midterm elections in November.
Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a star player in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) – she plays for Phoenix Mercury.