Cherelle’s storm, of course, has been at the center of international attention this year. Although the rest of the world found out about the WNBA star’s fate in early March, Cherelle said that on February 17, she “woke up to a text that changed my entire life.”
On that day, she learned that Brittney had been detained, and that Russian authorities charged her with “large scale transportation of drugs.” Despite continuing outcry over her detention, a Russian court sentenced Griner to a nine-year sentence in August, and that sentence was recently upheld after an unsuccessful appeal.
In her speech, Cherelle shared her belief that, although she might be physically unable to assist her wife, “words make a difference,” encouraging the audience to share messages of support with Brittney as well. She read a note that she herself sent, which started off with her saying, “Babe, I’m missing everything about you, especially your friendship.”
“I took for granted being able to just talk with you,” she said. “I catch myself picking up my phone, only to sit it back down, because there is only one voice that I want to hear and it’s yours.”
Although it was obviously an emotional speech, Cherelle also quipped, “It’s giving, ‘I’ll likely talk your ear off once you’re home.’”
She added her wish that Brittney was here “to actually feel all of the love that surrounds you.”
“You are definitely not forgotten,” she said. “So keep your head up, champ. This too shall pass. I love you and I cannot wait for the day that I get to embrace you.”
Cherelle then asked the audience to write letters to share on social media with the hashtag #WeAreBG, and urged those at home to participate by going to WeAreBG.org.
“Together, let’s show BG and the entire world that love will save the day,” Cherelle concluded.