Brittney Griner is free. We had no idea when we would be able to write that sentence but we are thrilled that it is much sooner than later.
According to CNN, Griner was released from Russian a prison today in a prisoner swap for infamous arms dealer Viktor Bout. Bout was arrested in 2008 for attempting to smuggle weapons including missiles into the United States in a conspiracy to kill citizens and U.S. government officials. Griner was arrested on February 17, 2022 and it took a huge public pressure push and months of negotiation on the highest levels in order to make this happen. President Biden and Brittney’s wife Cherrelle Watson spoke publicly about the end of this nightmarish episode alongside Vice President Kamala Harris.
BG is now on a plane headed to a military base in San Antonio where she will be examined by medical staff to ensure that she is physically and mentally healthy. Cherrelle is en route to the base to welcome her love back home.
In the wake of BG’s release, many are asking about former marine Paul Whelan who is also being held and was initially part of the swap with Russia but was ultimately left out of the deal. President Biden doubled down on the U.S. “commitment to ensuring Paul Whelan comes home as well.”
Welcome home, BG! What a Christmas present for her loved ones!