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What Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, had to say during the WNBA All-Star game

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Cherelle Griner listens to the Rev. Al Sharpton at a news conference in Chicago, Friday, July 8, 2022. Cherelle Griner, wife of WNBA star Brittney Griner, joined Sharpton and WNBA players and union leaders a day after Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in a Russian court.

Nam Y. Huh, AP

As expected, the WNBA showed its overwhelming support for Brittney Griner Sunday during the WNBA All-Star game.

Griner was named an honorary All-Star starter while she remains detained in Russia, and during the second half of the WNBA’s midseason showcase, every All-Star player wore a jersey dedicated to Griner.

In a court-side interview with ESPN’s Holly Rowe during the game, Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, spoke about how difficult it has been to have Griner gone, as well as the support they’ve received and what people can do to help bring her back to the United States.

“It is always going to be difficult being around basketball without my wife being present,” Cherelle Griner said, “but I use these moments as gratitude for her legacy and impact. Even in her absence you can’t not say Brittney Griner. I am just so grateful that everyone in this arena is still remembering my wife, even without her being here.”

Cherelle Griner went on to talk about how she has merely stepped into a role that her wife — a WNBA champion, eight-time All-Star and two-time scoring champion — created with her excellence on the basketball court, after becoming a public figure herself since Brittney Griner was detained on Feb. 17.

“Honestly I’m just stepping into what BG has already set in stone,” Cherelle Griner said. “This is her platform so I am just stepping in her absence to make sure her voice is heard.

“She is not here to use her own platform so I am grateful that you guys are allowing me to step into the size 17 shoes and be a voice for her right now. I can say don’t forget her and to bring her home.”

According to Cherelle Griner, President Joe Biden has been in communication with her wife and she expressed hope that everyone would support Biden’s administration as it works to bring Brittney Griner home.

“What I do know is President Biden and his administration took the time to write BG back,” Cherelle Griner said. “She is so grateful for that. I truly believe that the next step is to support our administration and make sure they have our support to do whatever is necessary to bring her home.”