HomeSportsBrittney Griner Breaks Silence in First Statement Since Being Released from Russian Prison

Brittney Griner Breaks Silence in First Statement Since Being Released from Russian Prison

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

WNBA star Brittney Griner has spoken out for the first time since returning to the United States last Thursday after being detained in Russia for 10 months on drug charges.

“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn,” Griner wrote on Instagram Friday. “I dug deep to keep my faith and it was the love from so many of you that helped keep me going. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone for your help.”

Griner was involved in a one-on-one prisoner swap for Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer. Griner’s post included a photo of her stepping off a plane at Fort Hood after returning to the states. Another showed her first embrace with her wife, Cherelle.

Griner thanked many, including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris. She also urged Biden to continue his efforts in attempting to bring Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, back home. Whelan has been imprisoned in Russia since 2018 and is serving a 16-year sentence.

“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” Griner wrote. “I will use my platform to do whatever I can to help you. I also encourage everyone that played a part in bringing me home to continue their efforts to bring all Americans home. Every family deserves to be whole.”

When Will Brittney Griner Make WNBA Return?

Griner was videoed this past week taking part in her first basketball workout in 10 months. Griner, a seven-time All-Star and 2014 WNBA Champion, revealed she intends to play for the Phoenix Mercury this season.

“I also want to make one thing very clear: I intend to play basketball for the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury this season, and in doing so, I look forward to being able to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who advocated, wrote, and posted for me in person soon,” Griner wrote.