WNBA coach James Wade has suggested that Brittney Griner has been abandoned by the US as she misses another game for the Phoenix Mercury.
Brittney has been detained for more than 130 days after a scan of her belongings at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport allegedly revealed that she had cartridges containing liquid with hashish oil.
Wade, who coaches the Chicago Sky, made the comments on July 2 – as reported by the Chicago Sun Times – as his team faced off against Griner's in her absence – and one day after her trial began in Russia.
"We have a woman who represents everything that we’re supposed to stand for that’s sitting in a prison," Wade said.
"And we’re just making posts. She’s played for our country and brought our country glory, and this is how we’re treating her. It’s disgusting."
Griner has been named an honorary starter for next week's WNBA All-Star Game as a petition by the Women’s National Basketball Players Association calling for help from the White House and State Department has grown to nearly 300,000 signatures.
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"[The White House] knows where [Griner] is," Wade added.
"She’s been there for four months. Why do we have to sign a petition? Let’s pretend it’s Tom Brady. Would we have to sign a petition then?"
Fans have often been spotted sporting "Free BG" signs and apparel at WNBA games this season while Griner remains in detention.
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GRINER'S WIFE CALLS THE SITUATION 'REALLY DIFFICULT'
Brittney's wife, Cherelle, also called out the US this week over the WNBA star's detainment in Russia.
"It's difficult," Cherelle Griner said, speaking to CNN.
"It's really, really difficult.
"This is not a situation where the rhetoric is matching the action.
"And so I can't just take the fact that this is somebody's job to bring home my wife and go off grid and focus to that degree. I can't do that.
"I do have to, unfortunately, also push people to make sure the things they're telling me is also matching their actions," Cherelle said.
"And so it has been the hardest thing to balance because I can't let up.
"It's over 130 days and BG is still not back."
Cherelle also said she doesn't believe the maximum effort is being put forth to bring her wife home.
"I hate to say that because I do trust that the persons working on this are very genuine people – that I do believe.
"But I don't think the maximum amount of effort is being done because, again, the rhetoric and the actions don't match."
Cherelle goes on to say that Brittney called the US embassy 11 times and no one answered.
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"It would've been in her best interest for her phone call to have been answered.
"It would be in her best interest for her to be back on US soil."
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