Is the U.S. doing enough to free Brittney Griner?

The sharpest opinions on the debate from around the web

Brittney Griner.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images)

President Biden this week assured Cherelle Griner, the wife of detained WNBA player Brittney Griner, that he is working to get the two-time Olympic women's basketball gold medalist released from a Russian jail. Griner pleaded guilty on Thursday to carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil through a Moscow airport in February, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, although the U.S. government has classified her as wrongfully detained. Griner, who had been playing basketball in Russia during the WNBA off-season, sent Biden a personal, handwritten message he received on the Fourth of July, asking him not to "forget about me and the other American Detainees." "I'm terrified I might be here forever," she wrote.

Cherelle Griner and other advocates this week stepped up their pressure on Biden to bring Griner home after her personal appeal. Supporters, including the Phoenix Mercury center's coach, said the government would have secured Griner's freedom by now if she weren't a woman, gay, and Black. A group of prominent Black female leaders, saying: "It is imperative, President Biden, that you address this ongoing human rights crisis and make a deal to bring Brittney home quickly and safely." The White House says freeing her is a priority. Is the Biden administration doing enough to bring Griner home?

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.