Brittney Griner has been released from a Russian prison after 10 months of “wrongful detention”, announced President Joe Biden on Thursday.
“BG IS COMING HOME” trended on Twitter almost immediately. The eight-time WNBA All-Star had an outpouring of support on social media from her teammates, fellow athletes and fans who advocated for her release.
Griner’s WNBA team, the Phoenix Mercury, released a statement welcoming her.
WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released statements detailing their sympathy for Griner and gratitude to all who made her release possible.
The WNBA and NBA players’ associations also released statements.
Reactions across the sports world
Griner’s “BG” moniker was never absent on Twitter, as Seattle Storm star Breanna Stewart tweeted a countdown of each day that Griner had been arrested. She posted the final number Thursday with glee.
Griner’s USA Basketball teammates, peers and NBA supporters also shared their excitement at the news of her release. Coaches and members of the media also expressed relief.
Dallas Cowboys football star Micah Parsons initially questioned Griner’s release and noted that Paul Whelan, a former Marine, remained in Russia. Parsons later sought to clarify his intentions and apologised, acknowledging separate efforts to win Whelan back in a series of tweets.
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