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15 of the best overjoyed reactions to Brittney Griner's release from Russian prison

Brittney Griner, basketball star, moved to penal colony in Russian prison

WNBA basketball star Brittney Griner was unexpectedly released from Russian prison on Thursday after an 11-month battle to free her.

Griner, 32, was part of a high-level prisoner exchange where the US exchanged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout for her return, confirmed by US officials.

For months, Griner's friends and family have advocated for President Joe Biden to help the basketball star and Olympic gold medalist safely return from Russia.

As a high-profile openly gay Black woman many have expressed concern over her safety for the last few months.

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Griner was first jailed in February after Russian officials said they found cannabis oil in her luggage.

She pled guilty to the accusation in July, however, in Russia an admission of guilt does not automatically end a case. Griner was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison colony in August.

President Biden tweeted on Thursday announcing he spoke to Griner who was safe and on her way home via plane.

Upon hearing the news, people on Twitter reacted with excitement.


Celebrities like Billie Jean King, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Hillary Clinton marked Griner's release with celebratory tweets.


Griner's arrest occurred right as Russia was invading Ukraine earlier this year.

Her arrest, court case, and sentencing have become intertwined with the political coolness occurring between the US and Russia.

Many acknowledged the emotional, mental, and physical trauma that Griner likely experienced abroad and wished her well in her recovery and homecoming.

Griner's wife, Cherelle Griner, has spent the last few months advocating for her wife's safe return. She has appeared on talk shows and in interviews hoping to help increase public awareness.

Some noted that Griner's return is timely, right before the holidays when people spend time with their families.


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