U.S. reclassifies WNBA star Brittney Griner as 'wrongfully detained' by Russia, sources say

May 4, 2022

The U.S. government now considers WNBA star Brittney Griner to be wrongfully detained by the Russian government, signaling a significant shift in how officials will try to get her home, sources familiar with her case told ESPN.

The officials and other sources close to Griner's case declined to say what led to the shift or whether there have been any discussions about what it would take to secure her release.

"Brittney has been detained for 75 days and our expectation is that the White House do whatever is necessary to bring her home," Griner's agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, said in a statement to ESPN on Tuesday.

The change in official designation means that the U.S. government will no longer wait for Griner's case to play out through the Russian legal system and will seek to negotiate her return. It also means that Griner's fellow WNBA players and supporters in Congress will be told they have the family's blessing to bring as much attention to her case as they wish.

Source: ESPN
(Photo by: The Associated Press)