WNBA star Brittney Griner wassince February 17 for drug trafficking, and although communication was limited, the Associated Press reported that she may have received emails and letters. While in custody, Griner reportedly received hundreds of messages, all of which were pre-screened by Russian officials.
So far, Griner’s email address – created by his agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas – has not been made public. The WNBA Players Union shared it with its members via text message.
While email is a quick and easy way to communicate these days, the process isn’t that simple for Griner. When Griner receives a message, she cannot immediately view it on a computer. Instead, Russian officials are carefully reviewing multiple messages at once. Once approved, they are printed and delivered to Griner’s attorneys.
Replying to messages is also not a simple task as Griner does not have direct access to the email account. Griner must write his answers on paper and have his lawyers take pictures of them. Whenever Griner has no paper available, she dictates what she wants to send.
Several members of the WNBA community have reached out to let Griner know they are thinking of her. Some are personal messages, some are hopes and prayers and some are Sudoku puzzles to keep her entertained. Los Angeles Sparks forward Amanda Zahui B. is one of many players who have been in touch with Griner. Zahui B. emailed a few months ago and said she was surprised to get a response.
“She jokes in her letters. I don’t know how she’s doing with what she’s going through. She’s an amazing soul,” Zahui B. told the AP. “She brings light to a situation like this. I don’t think many people could manage to do that.”
Griner will remain in Russian custody until at least June 18. The US government declared her “wrongfully detained” last month.