The WNBA and USA Basketball star has spent 10 months in Russian prisons — including being convicted and sent to a Russian penal colony — for having vape canisters with small amounts of cannabis oil in her luggage as she went through Russian airport security back in February. She became a political pawn in the tensions between the United States and Russia, mostly surrounding Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and was freed via a prisoner swap announced Thursday.
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
The basketball world — WNBA players in particular — had worked to keep her name front and not let Griner be forgotten during this ordeal, pushing President Joe Biden and the government to reach a deal. With the news Griner was freed, NBA and WNBA players took to social media to react.
“Brittney has had to endure an unimaginable situation and we’re thrilled that she is on her way home to her family and friends,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We thank the members of the NBA and WNBA community who never wavered in their efforts to raise awareness of Brittney’s unjust circumstances.”
BG is FREE!!! 294 days and she is coming home!!! 😭🤍🙏🏻❤️
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) December 8, 2022
BG 🙏🏽 God is so good
— A'ja Wilson (@_ajawilson22) December 8, 2022
God’s grace is SUFFICIENT! @brittneygriner is home! I love you BG!
— dawnstaley (@dawnstaley) December 8, 2022
No more days. She’s coming home 🧡 pic.twitter.com/HsjbdPfdn5
— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) December 8, 2022
Welcome Home BG!
Thank you for exemplifying what a true Warrior spirit looks like. You’re forever loved by so many unconditionally. 🤞🏾♾
— Hélà (@KyrieIrving) December 8, 2022
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) December 8, 2022
— Chris Paul (@CP3) December 8, 2022
Welcome home BG!! 🙌🏿 🙏🏿
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) December 8, 2022
— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) December 8, 2022
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) December 8, 2022
BG is FREE ‼️
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) December 8, 2022
“We are overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that our sister Brittney Griner is finally coming home,” the NBPA said in a statement. “Her strength and courage throughout this last year have been truly remarkable, as have the efforts of her wife Cherelle, our WNBPA sisters, Terri Jackson and the WNBPA staff, who have been relentless in their call to bring Brittney home. We know this homecoming would not have been possible without their unwavering support and continued work to keep BG always top of mind, and our players are honored to have contributed to those efforts. While this is a celebratory moment for our sisters and us, we must not forget the other political prisoners who remain in dire circumstances all over the world. These individuals must be remembered and fought for every single day as BG was so that they too can have this moment. Welcome home Brittney, we are so happy to have you back! #WeAreBG”
The best news to start our day with: finally, our sister BG is coming home!!
So grateful for all those who tirelessly worked to make this happen. Welcome home, Brittney!!!!
— Chiney Ogwumike (@chiney) December 8, 2022
Tears of Joy🏾 ✊🏾✊🏼✊🏻✊🏾 https://t.co/CY060plpQN
— Swin Cash (@SwinCash) December 8, 2022
— Kahleah Copper (@kahleahcopper) December 8, 2022
Helll yea!!!! BG is free!! ❤️❤️❤️
— Chelsea Gray (@cgray209) December 8, 2022
Thank you to all the government officials involved in securing her release 🙌🏽 what an unbelievable feelings https://t.co/iJFpE1uZ3V
— Brianna Turner (@_Breezy_Briii) December 8, 2022
When I tell you nothing could kill my vibe today! My sis is coming home 🙌🏾🏾😁
BG is FREE 🙌🏾
— Jonquel Jones (@jus242) December 8, 2022
Yes! She’s coming home!
— WNBPA (@TheWNBPA) December 8, 2022
Welcome home, Brittney Griner 🤍 pic.twitter.com/ELtuqHiwXk
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) December 8, 2022
BRITTNEY WE LOVE YOU!!! we have been waiting on your homecoming and it’s finally happening!! ❤️🙌🏼
— Amanda Zahui B. (@AmandaZahuiB) December 8, 2022
Welcome Home BG!!! We’ve missed you! https://t.co/k1meZ8lnUp
— James Wade (@coachjameswade) December 8, 2022
Brittney Griner 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽. Thank god
— Kim McNeill (@ecucoachkim) December 8, 2022
BG! We love you! We love you so much. We are so thrilled you are coming back to American soil!!!!
— Arielle (Ari) Chambers (@ariivory) December 8, 2022
Brittney Griner is HOME!!!! Praying for her still! GREAT NEWS!!
— Joy Smith (@CoachJoy21) December 8, 2022
Have freakin chills that BG got released! God is so good! We love you!
— Danielle Robinson (@justDROB) December 8, 2022