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Brittney Griner Releases First Statement & Photos Since Arriving In The U.S., Thanks Her Wife Cherelle, Joe Biden & Casey Wasserman, Says She Will Return To The WNBA – Deadline

By Tom Tapp
Deputy Managing Editor
Brittney Griner spoke out today for the first time since being freed from a Russian penal colony.
“It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. 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,” the WNBA star wrote, posting photos of herself getting off a plane and also hugging her wife Cherelle in what appears to be an airplane hanger.
The Olympic gold medalist was arrested at Moscow Airport on February 17, after she was found to be in possession of two vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is a banned substance in Russia.

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She was released last week  in a prisoner swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. There were critics of the swap who questioned whether the swap should have included U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. Griner addressed Whelan’s case.
“President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too,” she 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.”
Griner also thanked her wife, Vice President Harris, Secretary Blinken, the entire Biden-Harris Administration and “Casey Wasserman and my whole team at Wasserman.” Griner is repped by Lindsay Kagawa Colas at Wasserman, whom she also thanked personally. Kagawa Colas worked to keep up the public pressure to bring Griner home.
Here is Griner’s full statement:
It feels so good to be home! The last 10 months have been a battle at every turn. 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.
I am grateful to each person who advocated for me, especially my wife, Cherelle Griner, my family, Lindsay Kagawa Colas and Casey Wasserman and my whole team at Wasserman, Vince Kozar and the Phoenix Mercury, the players of the WNBA, and my entire WNBA family, Terri Jackson and the WNBPA staff, my Russian legal team Maria Blagovolina and Alex Boykov, the leaders, activists, and grassroots organizations, Gov. Richardson and Mickey Bergman of the Richardson Center, the Bring Our Families Home Campaign, Roger Carstens and the SPEHA team, and of course, a special thank you to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Secretary Blinken and the entire Biden-Harris Administration.

President Biden, you brought me home and I know you are committed to bringing Paul Whelan and all Americans home too. 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.
As I transition home to enjoy the holidays with my family, I want to acknowledge and thank the entire PISA staff and medical team at the San Antonio Fort Sam Houston Base. I appreciate the time and care to make sure I was okay and equipped with the tools for this new journey.
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.
Love always,
BG #42
A post shared by BG (@brittneyyevettegriner)
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