It has been 419 days since Brittney Griner has played in a professional basketball game. After Griner was obtained by the Russian police on February 21st, 2022. Now 10 months later, she is being released from her detainment. In that time, the United States has been doing everything it can to bring her home, and now she will get to.
The WNBA’s Britney Griner has not been outside the minds of the basketball world ever since her detention in Russia began. And it appears she remains within the realm of consciousness for the United States Government as well.
Griner, a member of the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury, has been detained in Russia for almost a year and was convicted in October on a charge of attempting to smuggle narcotics into Russia. Whelan has been in Russia since 2018, and with reports that the Russians are interested in a “one for one” swap involving a convicted Russian arms dealer (known as the merchant of death) Viktor Bout questions are rising about how the U.S. will handle those negotiations.
“Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner,” President Biden tweeted. “She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home.”
A few hours after the news broke, the Phoenix Mercury tweeted this:
Griner will be returning home just in time for the Holidays. The reactions from the Sports world have been limitless.
In exchange for her release, the U.S. government will reportedly send convicted international arms dealer Viktor Bout back to Russia, according to CBS News. Bout, nicknamed the “Merchant of Death,” was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being convicted of, among other things, conspiracy to kill Americans. The exchange of the two took place in Abu Dhabi, but before she officially returns home, Griner will be flown to a military medical facility where she will have a full health evaluation.
Welcome home, Brittney!
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