Brittney Griner’s Wife Shares First Photos Since WNBA Star’s Release from Russian Prison

las vegas, nevada october 08 brittney griner 42 of the phoenix mercury kisses her wife cherelle griner in the stands after the mercury defeated the las vegas aces 87 84 in game five of the 2021 wnba playoffs semifinals to win the series at michelob ultra arena on october 8, 2021 in las vegas, nevada note to user user expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the getty images license agreement photo by ethan millergetty images

Brittney Griner’s Wife Shares Photos After ReturnEthan Miller – Getty Images

Now that Brittney Griner is finally home following nearly a year in Russian custody, her wife is thanking the people who made her return possible.

This weekend, Cherelle Griner shared her first Instagram post since the WNBA star’s release. In it, she included two collages featuring photos of friends and advocates who used their voices to call for Griner’s freedom.

“Yesterday my heart was made whole thanks to the collective efforts of MANY! I’m humbled by their hearts. To care for another, a stranger to some, a friend to some— is humanity in its purest form!” Cherelle, who’s been married to Brittney since 2019, wrote.

Brittney was released from Russian custody last Thursday, December 8, after President Joe Biden negotiated a prisoner swap with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The pro basketball player was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport by Russian authorities in February for having vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil in her luggage, and spent the next nearly 10 months in Russian custody. The athlete was in Russia at the time to play in the Russian women’s professional basketball league. She admitted to having the cartridges, but said it was an accident that she had packed them, and documents showed the cannabis oil was legally prescribed for her by her US doctor for pain management, per NBC News.

“As BG and I started our journey to heal our minds, bodies, and spirits—I wanted to personally say thank you to some of the hands; seen and unseen, that helped make it possible for me to see my wife again!” Cherelle continued in her post, adding a special thanks to the Biden-Harris administration and the Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs (SPEHA).

Cherelle also brought attention to the case of Paul Whelan, a 52-year-old retired US Marine Corps veteran who, during a visit to Russia in December 2018 to attend a colleague’s wedding, was arrested on espionage charges that the US has said are false , and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He remains in Russian custody.

“I appreciate each and every one of you! Let’s continue to use our hands, voices, platforms and resources to bring Paul and all Americans home. All families deserve to be whole!” Cherelle wrote.

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