While some people call for the government to do more to get Brittney Griner out of Russia, Megan Rapinoe is speaking to the one person directly who can actually make it happen.
When soccer star Megan Rapinoe received the call from President Joe Biden about being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July, she was not only excited, but also had a message to send. The longtime U.S. women’s national team star didn’t shy away from telling the country’s top-ranking leader her thoughts on returning Brittney Griner home from Russia.
During the phone call, Rapinoe reportedly used it as an opportunity to get the President to do more to get her freed.
“Multiple people familiar with the matter told West Wing Playbook that Rapinoe also used her call with Biden to raise the issue of Brittney Griner’s detention in Russia, urging him to take more steps to secure her release,” reports Max Tani and Alex Thompson of West Wing Playbook Scoop. “The White House did not respond to multiple requests for comment about the call. One person familiar with the call said Biden assured Rapinoe that his national security team was pursuing every avenue to try to secure her release as quickly as possible, and would continue to support her family.”
Griner, who was arrested at an airport near Moscow in February and accused of possessing hashish oil in her luggage, was recently sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony and fined by a Russian court on charges of smuggling drugs with criminal intent.
Since Rapinoe and Biden spoke in July, the President spoke with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, to assure her that his team was doing everything it could to bring Griner home.
As Griner remains in prison under Russian custody, her Russian legal team has appealed her conviction on the smuggling charges.