HomeSportsBrittney Griner Makes First Public Appearance Since Release From Russian Prison at MLK Day March in Phoenix

Brittney Griner Makes First Public Appearance Since Release From Russian Prison at MLK Day March in Phoenix

by Dustin Schutte
Brittney Griner During Game
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Just a month since her release from a Russian prison, WNBA star Brittney Griner made her first public appearance. She attended a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Phoenix on Monday.

Griner attended Monday’s event with her wife, Cherelle. The event in Phoenix also holds significance for the basketball star, as she’s spent her entire WNBA career playing for the Mercury.

According to 12 News’ Jonathan McCall, Griner posed for pictures with fans while at the event. She also talked about her return home after 10 months in a Russian prison.

Griner was released from prison in early December after the United States and Russia agreed to a one-on-one prisoner exchange. Russia released the WNBA star and the U.S. freed international arms dealer Viktor Bout.

Brittney Griner’s Wife Recalls First Interaction Since Release

Brittney Griner’s time in a Russian prisoner was incredibly difficult on her. It was also very tough on her friends and family, especially her wife, Cherelle.

In an interview with PEOPLE, Cherelle recalled the experience of seeing Brittney for the first time after 10 months. She recalled an emotional experience.

“I had thought about that moment a thousand times, and I thought I would be full of tears,” Cherelle Griner recently told “But I was overwhelmingly happy. It was the first time I was able to finally exhale, and I’m like, ‘Oh, thank God, this is such a great day.’”

Cherelle said there were times she felt hopeless but she never gave up.

“It was almost as if somebody just punched you in the stomach and you inhaled,” she said. “You never get to breathe out. I was hopeless a lot of days. You try and stay grounded, but I’m human. Still, I would never completely give up hope on my wife’s life.”