Brittney Griner supporters Aug 5, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; A sign supporting Brittney Griner (not pictured), who has recently been sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia, is displayed during the first half of the game between the Washington Spirit and Racing Louisville FC at Lynn Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: EM Dash-USA TODAY Sports

WNBA star Brittney Griner remains in a Russian prison serving a nine-and-a-half-year sentence for bringing a minimal amount of cannabis oil into the country, U.S. officials continue to work to get her home. On Thursday, the State Department announced that U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow were able to visit Griner.

@USEmbRU officials visited Brittney Griner today,” tweeted State Department spokesman Ned Price. “They saw firsthand her tenacity and perseverance despite her present circumstances. We continue to press for the immediate release of Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan and fair treatment for every detained American.”

“We are told she’s doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One following the confirmation of the meeting.

According to NBC News’s Andrea Mitchell, Jean-Pierre also said it has proposed “alternatives to initial prisoner trade offer,” as Russia has not been receptive to previous offers so far.

Per the Washington Post, Jean-Pierre also said that Russia has continued to refuse a “significant offer” from the United States to “resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detention” of Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine who is also currently imprisoned.

A Russian court rejected Griner’s appeal of her prison sentence last week. Reports about the conditions of her current prison and what it’s like to be a prisoner in Russia have concerned many and kept the pressure on the U.S. to get her out.

While U.S. officials try to free Griner, Griner’s wife Cherelle appeared Tuesday on The View as she continues to fight for her to be freed, saying she is worried that as time passes, Brittney’s situation is starting to affect her state of mind.

“We spoke only 3 times out of the 8 months since she’s been sentenced. The last time I spoke with her was a week before her appeal, and she said her mental is not there,” she said.

[WaPo, Andrea Mitchell, Ned Price]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to